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Kuleba: NATO allies agree on simplified procedure for Ukraine's accession

by Dinara Khalilova July 10, 2023 1:40 PM 2 min read
Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba and his Iraqi counterpart attend a joint press conference in Baghdad on April 17, 2023. (Photo by Ahmad Al- Rubaye/AFP via Getty Images)
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"Following intensive talks," NATO allies agreed to remove the Membership Action Plan (MAP) from Ukraine's path toward accession, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said on July 10.

"I welcome this long-awaited decision that shortens our path to NATO. It is also the best moment to offer clarity on the invitation to Ukraine to become a member," Kuleba tweeted.

The MAP envisages a country being assessed step-by-step on its way to meeting specific criteria for NATO accession, which may take years or even decades. Finland, who applied to join NATO in May 2022 and skipped the MAP process, managed to become the alliance's member in less than a year.

Kuleba previously said that Ukraine's path toward NATO was expected to become shorter after the alliance's next summit, set to take place on July 11-12 in Vilnius. Kyiv hopes to receive a "clear signal" from allies regarding its membership prospects at the summit.

Stoltenberg says Vilnius summit will agree on 3-part package ‘to bring Ukraine closer to NATO’
NATO member states are expected to adopt a three-part package “to bring Ukraine closer” to the alliance during its next summit in Vilnius, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on July 7.

Axios reported on June 16, citing people familiar with the matter, that U.S. President Joe Biden had supported a proposal by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to announce that Ukraine does not need to implement the MAP to join NATO.

However, Biden later told reporters that he wouldn't ease barriers to Ukraine's membership because the country has to meet the same standards as other members.

The simplified procedure would still oblige Ukraine to carry out reforms and, contrary to the wishes of Eastern European allies, would not set any time frame for Ukraine's accession, wrote Washington Post.

Ukraine applied for NATO membership in September 2022, half a year into the full-scale Russian invasion. Ukraine's accession to NATO has been a subject of discussions and disagreements for months.

Dietzen, Druckman: Vilnius NATO Summit – Accelerating Ukraine’s membership and deterring Moscow and Minsk
This month’s NATO summit takes place at a time of both peril and opportunity for the future of European security. The Wagner Group’s June 24 sprint from Rostov to the gates of Moscow dealt a fresh blow to criticism of NATO’s decision to extend a Membership Action
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