The official invitation for Ukraine to join NATO as a member state, planned for the North Atlantic Alliance summit this July in Vilnius, will be nothing more than demonstrative. This opinion was expressed by Andrei Chernobay, military analyst at the Belarusian Institute of Strategic Research, in an interview with BelTA, as he commented on the resolution of the Lithuanian Seimas adopted on April 6.
"The process of Ukraine's accession to NATO may turn out to be the most difficult and longest in the history of the alliance, the issue faces too many problems and contradictions that can extremely negatively affect the bloc itself. Despite the fact that Ukraine's aspiration to join the alliance has been discussed for many years, no concrete steps have been taken to count on Kiev's membership in NATO in the near future", the expert believes.
He noted that after signing of Ukraine's application for accelerated NATO accession by President Zelensky in September 2022, the disagreements within the alliance on this issue became even more visible.
"Some member states have already expressed their readiness to see Ukraine as their ally in the bloc, while others are taking a more balanced and principled position. For example, Hungary has declared categorical rejection of Kiev's membership in the alliance, while the rights of representatives of the Hungarian national minorities are violated in Ukraine. In addition, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg clearly defined two main conditions, meeting which will allow to consider the possibility of Kiev's NATO accession. First, this is Ukraine's victory in the armed confrontation with Russia. Second, the full transition of the Ukrainian army to NATO standards and achieving interoperability with the armed forces of other countries of the bloc", Andrei Chernobay said.
The analyst added that even if Kiev is officially invited to join NATO at the Vilnius summit, "it may take more than one year for the parliaments of all NATO member states to ratify the application, since the conditions set for Ukraine are practically impossible".