No Longer a Mésalliance: How Well Prepared Are NATO and Ukraine for Each Other?
10 July 2023, 14:30
author: Маріанна Фахурдінова

Opponents of Ukraine’s membership in NATO often appeal to the fact that our country is not yet technically ready for such a step.

On the eve of the Vilnius NATO summit, Marianna Fakhurdinova, the Research Fellow of New Europe Center, prepared a report on the extent to which Ukraine and NATO are ready for a significant upgrade of bilateral relations.

The research showed that Ukraine is making better progress in implementing reforms and implementing NATO standards and practices than is often thought:

  • Ukraine provided 282 NATO standards into national legislation – 25% of the existing NATO standards;
  • Mass deliveries of Western weapons to Ukraine lead to a more human-centric approach in the Ukrainian army, change the tactics of fighting and the philosophy of using weapons;
  • Since the start of the full-scale invasion, 10,000 Ukrainian servicemen have been trained under the UK-led INTERFLEX operation (as of February 2023), over 16,000 as part of the EU MAM (as of April 2023), and 11,000 in the US as part of joint military maneuvers and staff exercises (as of June 2023);
  • Despite the Big War, Ukraine continues to implement reforms in defense procurement and democratic oversight of the armed forces.

The argument about Ukraine’s technical unpreparedness is partly used to veil the main geopolitical reason – fear of Russia. In the third chapter of the study, the analyst debunks some key reservations of skeptics about inviting Ukraine to membership, such as:

  • Such a move will further provoke Russia;
  • A country at war cannot join the Alliance;
  • Societies in NATO member countries do not support Ukraine’s accession;
  • Ukraine should focus on integration into the EU, which also includes a security component;
  • Inviting Ukraine to membership will contribute to instability and unleash the III World War.

The analysis is available on the website of the Swedish analytical center SCEEUS (Utrikespolitiska Institutet) –

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