NATO members are unlikely to provide a swift membership plan to Ukraine, instead considering an “upgraded relationship format,” Euroactiv wrote on May 26, citing unnamed sources in NATO.
This new plan would involve setting up a “NATO-Ukraine Council” and opening new paths of cooperation, according to the report.
Currently, the parties meet at the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which serves as a forum for consultation and developing cooperation.
The “upgraded” council format would ensure that Ukraine has a permanent seat at the table and can initiate the meetings when they wish.
This new system could improve intelligence sharing and help coordinate joint exercises, investment in the defense industry, and cooperability between NATO militaries and the Armed Forces of Ukraine.
Ukraine officially applied for NATO membership on Sept. 30, 2022, gathering support from many Central and Eastern European members.
While NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that "Ukraine's rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family," he added that the victory in the war with Russia is a starting point for the membership process.
The big players of the Alliance, such as the U.S., France, and Germany, remain hesitant in regard to the swift accession pathway. Instead, the “upgraded relationship” plan is gaining traction as an alternative, Euroactiv reported.