CEPA: Bringing Ukraine Into NATO Without World War III

2023-12-29 | Expert publications, Geopolitical analysis, NATO

By Ambassador Kurt Volker.

NATO’s policy on Ukraine is inadvertently encouraging Putin to continue the war.  It is time for a change.

The alliance’s position thus far has affirmed that Ukraine will become a member in the long run, but not while Russia continues its war on Ukraine. NATO is concerned that Ukraine’s admission would trigger a direct and immediate NATO war with Kremlin forces, and that this might escalate to nuclear weapons use.

This view is a fallacy, and it sends a signal to Vladimir Putin that he should continue fighting.  As long as he keeps going, NATO will not admit Ukraine as a member, and thus Putin believes that he still has a chance of winning.

NATO must send the opposite message: that no matter what he does, Putin will never succeed in defeating Ukraine. Continuing the war would therefore be pointless and devastating for Russia. Moving forward with Ukrainian membership in NATO will send this message.

This message is also crucial for Ukraine’s economic recovery. There is a symbiosis between military and economic support for Ukraine. For example, there is no greater economic benefit to Ukraine than opening its ports to normal shipping. Yet that can only be achieved through military security operations, such as demining, and freedom of navigation in the Black Sea. Moreover, investors will not place big bets on Ukraine unless they are sure it will be a secure country in the future.

Read the full publication, originally published on CEPA.