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#18 UkraineMEMO: NATO membership for Ukraine?


Ukraine sees joining NATO as the most important instrument for ending the war. NATO member states see the potential membership as a post-war agreement. What are the arguments in favour of admission, and are there any alternatives?

The NATO-Ukraine Charter, signed on 9 July 1997, has been a partnership agreement between the military alliance and Ukraine for over 20 years. The efforts made from 2005 onwards to conclude a concrete action plan for membership failed due to the low level of support among the Ukrainian population at the time, the scepticism of some NATO member states and the fear of provoking Russia. Even after the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014 and the subsequent war in eastern Ukraine, a large-scale war of aggression was still beyond the imagination of many Ukrainians and Western partners. In February 2022, Ukraine had to painfully learn that the security guarantees of the Budapest Memorandum of 1994 could not protect the country from a war of aggression by Russia. It also became clear that a new, coherent European security architecture was needed.

How has the attitude towards NATO accession changed in Ukrainian society? What is the connection between effective security guarantees and the reconstruction of Ukraine? To what extent would Germany and the EU benefit from Ukrainian NATO membership?

We discuss these and other questions with our guest:

Alyona Getmanchuk is the founder and director of the New Europe Centre think tank (NEC, Kyiv).

Host: Nataliya Pryhornytska, political scientist and co-founder of the Alliance of Ukrainian Organizations.

Episode #18 of UkraineMEMO is also available here: 

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With its podcast “UkraineMEMO: Interviews, Analysis, Policy Advice”, IEP presents new perspectives on Ukraine. With guests from Germany and Ukraine, Ljudmyla Melnyk and Nataliya Pryhornytska discuss recent developments and long-term trends in the areas of Ukrainian politics, economy and society and thus provide an insight into events on the ground that are moving the country. Ukraine's relationship with Germany and the EU is always kept in mind.

The podcast is produced as part of the “UA Transformation Lab” project and is funded by the Federal Foreign Office.

Team & authors

About the Podcast UkraineMEMO project: Making expertise on Ukraine accessible is the aim of the UkraineMEMO podcast. With experts from civil society, politics and business, we analyse current events and long-term trends and promote better mutual understanding between Germany and Ukraine

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