Ally, Member or Partner? NATO’s Long Dilemma Over Ukraine. - The New York Times
Dec 08, 2021 2 mins, 24 secs
NATO promised Ukraine full membership in 2008, but without explaining how or when.

In 2008, NATO — an American-led alliance explicitly created to counter the Soviet Union — promised membership to two former Soviet republics, Ukraine and Georgia, but without specifying when or how.

So, as thousands of Russian troops mass on Ukraine’s borders, NATO is not bound by treaty to protect Ukraine militarily, nor is it likely to try, but it has a compelling interest in trying both to deter Russia and avoid provoking an invasion?

For all its closeness to NATO, he said, Ukraine is not a member, so “how do you still guarantee its independence and sovereignty?”.

Marta Dassu, a former Italian deputy foreign minister and adviser on Europe to the Aspen Institute, said, “You can’t explicitly accept Putin’s proposal to rule out membership in NATO, so in the end you try to build up Ukraine’s military deterrence but can resort only to more economic sanctions, and that’s probably not enough.”.

Putin repeated his contention that NATO expansion to Ukraine would pose a grave threat to Russia, and that “it would be criminal negligence on our part” not to seek to stop it.

Putin sees “encirclement” and a still-expansionist NATO that is committed to ripping Ukraine away from the Russian zone of influence.

Antagonism between Ukraine and Russia has been simmering since 2014, when the Russian military crossed into Ukrainian territory, annexing Crimea and whipping up a rebellion in the east.

Russia has recently been building up forces near its border with Ukraine, and the Kremlin’s rhetoric toward its neighbor has hardened.

Russia called the strike a destabilizing act that violated the cease-fire agreement, raising fears of a new intervention in Ukraine that could draw the United States and Europe into a new phase of the conflict.

Putin of Russia, who has increasingly portrayed NATO’s eastward expansion as an existential threat to his country, said that Moscow’s military buildup was a response to Ukraine’s deepening partnership with the alliance.

President Biden has said he is seeking a stable relationship with Russia.

Putin runs the risk that invading Ukraine, rather than producing the submissive neighbor he wants, would, as many believe, simply reinforce Ukraine’s desire to remain independent.

Freedman suggested, if NATO had “found other ways to support Georgia and Ukraine” and not promised membership.

Most likely Ukraine will never be integrated into NATO, he said, “but we can’t put that into a treaty,” as Mr.

It was short-term expediency with long-term consequences that we have seen since then” — in Georgia, which lost a quick and nasty war to Russia four months later in 2008, and in the Russian effort to destabilize and even reassert control over Ukraine

She said the intelligence community recommended against offering a membership path to Ukraine and Georgia, because much of NATO opposed it, but it was overridden by Mr

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