Ukraine Membership Revisited: The Case For Nato’s Strategic Adaption

Russian revisionism blocked Ukraine’s path towards NATO membership from the outset by Moscow’s political interference, passportization[1], and its role in separatist conflicts that enabled permanent military deployments impeded the freedom and sovereignty of newly independent countries Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia. Among these three countries, Ukraine quickly became the focus of Russian power projection due to its four unique geostrategic characteristics; its size geographically and economically, its geographic location as a key energy transit zone between rich European markets and Moscow, its possession of Soviet nuclear weapons, and its access to a vast Black Sea coastline with unique power projection capacity.

At the same time, Ukraine’s distinctive strategic position in relation to NATO was established by this very quartet of strategic assets-nuclear weapons, energy transit, and strategic access and capabilities. Today, with most of these capabilities stripped by Russia, what remains of Ukraine’s strategic capacity? Thirty years after its independence, Russia stripped Ukraine of most of its strategic advantages. At the same time, because of the same Russian aggression, Ukraine has gained more modern strategic advantages that make it uniquely attractive as a NATO member.

Source: Turkish Policy Quarterly

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