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Polish Senate approves resolution on Ukraine's fast-track NATO accession

by The Kyiv Independent news desk May 12, 2023 1:32 PM 3 min read
Senate (the upper house of the Polish parliament) in Warsaw, Poland on Feb. 1, 2018. (Mateusz Wlodarczyk/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The Senate of Poland backed Ukraine's accelerated NATO accession following the example of Sweden and Finland and urged for the alliance's July summit to be a key step on this path, according to a resolution unanimously approved on May 11, Polskie Radio reported.

"After a year of a terrible war, we know that Ukraine, standing up to Russia, protects Europe and is a key link protecting the continent from aggression from the east," the resolution reads, as cited by the Polish broadcasting service. "Defenders need real support through closer political and military cooperation with NATO countries."

According to the document, the Polish Senate believes Ukraine's accession to NATO should be a political decision - like it was with Finland and Sweden.

Finland and Sweden submitted their applications in May 2022 to join NATO after years of military neutrality. Finland officially became the 31st member of the North Atlantic Alliance on April 4, 2023, while Sweden is still waiting for its bid to be approved.

Finland, like Ukraine, borders Russia. However, rather than responding with military action when it became a NATO member, Russia simply attempted to downplay the move.

Kuleba pens op-ed on why NATO must admit Ukraine
Finland’s NATO accession showed that fears Ukraine joining the military alliance would “provoke” Russia were unwarranted, Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba wrote in an op-ed for Foreign Affairs published on April 25.

The resolution says the two Nordic countries "were invited to join NATO by a procedure that had never been used before" and called on the alliance members to apply a similar fast-track procedure to Ukraine.

The Polish senators added that Ukraine should receive "much more than in previous statements about the open door policy" during the upcoming summit in Vilnius. It should become an important stage of Ukraine's preparation for full-fledged NATO membership, they emphasized in the resolution.

During a meeting with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in Kyiv on April 21, President Volodymyr Zelensky also said that Ukraine needed "something more than the format of our relations which exist today" and that the country needed a clearer indication of when it was joining NATO.

At the meeting, the NATO chief reaffirmed his personal support for Ukraine's future NATO membership. "I will speak clearly," Stoltenberg said at the briefing, "Ukraine's rightful place is in the Euro-Atlantic family, Ukraine's rightful place is in NATO."

Ukraine applied for a fast-track NATO accession on Sept. 30 after Russia claimed the annexation of four Ukrainian regions. However, until Moscow's war against Ukraine ends, the country's prospects of NATO membership seem to remain low.

Stoltenberg says ‘Ukraine will join NATO,’ vows support despite Russia’s ‘reckless nuclear rhetoric’
Brussels – NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg vowed on April 3 that the alliance would continue supporting Ukraine despite Russia’s “dangerous and reckless nuclear rhetoric.” He added that Kyiv can win the war and become a full-fledged NATO member one day. Responding to the Kyiv Independent a…

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