Rejecting Ukraine’s NATO membership because of the war is dangerous, says the ex-secretary general of NATO

Rejecting Ukraines NATO membership because of the war is dangerous

According to Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Russia has a reason to continue the war indefinitely if it can prevent Ukraine from joining.

Former Secretary General of NATO (2009–14) Anders Fogh Rasmussen according to which it is high time to invite Ukraine to become a member of the defense alliance. According to him, this should happen at next summer’s NATO summit in Washington.

Ukraine’s membership has been considered impossible as long as the country is in a state of war.

– It is a very dangerous argument, because if we say that Ukraine cannot be invited as a member as long as the war continues, then [presidentti Vladimir] For Putin is given a reason to continue this war indefinitely, says Rasmussen in an interview with STT.

Instead, it should be made clear to Putin that Ukraine will become a member of NATO, no matter what Putin does.

– The sooner we act like this, the sooner we can end the war, Rasmussen believes.

That is, first membership and then the end of the war, and not the other way around, is the Danish Rasmussen’s proposal.

The consensus in NATO required for the membership invitation may be behind the work, but the ex-Secretary General believes that it is possible.

Security guarantees for the waiting period

Rasmussen also says that he has considered a practical solution to how NATO’s Article 5 on common defense would apply to the case of Ukraine.

– I think one model could be that we invite the whole of Ukraine to become a member of NATO, but as the war continues, Article 5 only applies to the area under the control of the government in Kiev, Rasmussen says.

According to him, such a solution would practically protect all of western Ukraine from Russian attacks, while freeing Ukrainian forces to fight against the Russians in the east.

– In no case do I want a frozen conflict, but I want to promote the struggle of the Ukrainians, Rasmussen emphasizes.

It is also essential that the time between the membership invitation and joining NATO should be as short as possible. During that time, individual NATO allied countries should offer security guarantees to Ukraine.

– Just as was done in the case of Finland and Sweden, Rasmussen reminds.

There have also been noticeable differences between the NATO countries in supporting Ukraine, but Rasmussen says that he is optimistic about the situation in principle.