Marko Mihkelson: Ukraine NATO membership would strengthen alliance greatly

Marko Mihkelson (Reform).
Marko Mihkelson (Reform). Source: Erik Peinar/Riigikogu

Ukraine inside NATO would not only be far stronger than remaining outside, but would also bolster the alliance itself at this critical time, chair of the Riigikogu's foreign affairs committee, Marko Mihkelson (Reform) says.

Mihkelson this week signed a joint statement, on behalf of Estonia, from the foreign affairs committees of 20 NATO member states calling for an expedited process regarding Ukrainian NATO membership, for the good of the alliance as well as for Ukraine itself.

The statement read: "We draw attention to the fact that Ukraine's membership in NATO would consolidate sustainable peace not only in Ukraine but also in Europe as a whole, demonstrating that Russia has no veto power over NATO's enlargement, that Ukraine is free to choose which security and defense organizations to align with, and that Ukraine is not in Russia's sphere of influence."

Ukrainian victory over Russia's aggression and Ukraine's membership in NATO would help to maintain the rules-based international order, they argued, while the impending NATO summit in Vilnius, Lithuania, next month, serves to concentrate minds further here.

"Therefore, we call NATO and the heads of state and of governments of its member countries to make the NATO Vilnius Summit create a clear path for Ukrainian accession to NATO and to give clear and strong security guarantees to Ukraine."

"We are confident that Ukraine's NATO membership would greatly contribute to the alliance's security and will help the Russian society to finally get rid of the imperial dreams, which Putin is using to consolidate his regime," the statement added, also calling for an increasingly deeper integration of Ukraine into NATO's structures and processes prior to its future NATO accession.

Decisions were made in Bucharest, Romania in 2008 on Ukraine's future accession to NATO, but these need fully implementing, so as to eradicate gray areas in Europe's security and to bring more certainty to Ukraine's future path also.

Mihkelson was joined by his counterparts from 19 other states in issuing the call for a clear road map for Ukrainian NATO accession.

This will also be key in transitioning Russian society away from imperialist nostalgia and irredentist dreams, regardless of who is in power in the Kremlin, it is argued.

More than anything, the very transatlantic values that underpin NATO's founding charter and its worldview are being defended by the Ukrainian people, while from a purely cost-based viewpoint, Ukraine inside NATO and its collective security would be much more cost effective than the current aid being provided to the country.

The joint statement was made before the meeting of speakers of parliaments of various NATO member countries and was signed by the heads of Foreign Affairs Committees from the legislatures of Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czechia, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Norway, Poland, Romania, Ukraine, the U.K. and the U.S.

The announcement came the same week that Britain's Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, noted on his social media account also that "Ukraine's rightful place is in NATO." Cleverly was on an official visit to Estonia this week.


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Editor: Andrew Whyte

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