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Official abolition of the status of the Membership Action Plan: when will Ukraine join NATO?

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Official abolition of the status of the Membership Action Plan: when will Ukraine join NATO?

On July 10, it became known that NATO member states had reached an agreement on the abolition of Ukraine's MAP status. Find out what opportunities this opens up for the country and when Ukraine will join the Alliance

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Today, the NATO Summit in Vilnius has officially begun, and you can read more about what Ukraine expects from the meeting here. However, on July 10, it became known that NATO members agreed to cancel Ukraine's MAP status.

*The MAP is a special action program designed for candidates for NATO membership that aims to help bring a candidate country's political, economic and military spheres up to NATO standards.


What does the abolition of the MAP status mean for Ukraine?


The MAP program (action plan) is the final step a country takes on its way to NATO. That is, the state actually receives step-by-step instructions, which it follows to join the Alliance. Thus, after the MAP is canceled, Ukraine's path to NATO becomes open. However, we will find out exactly how the accession process will work in the coming days. Obviously, the removal of the MAP from Ukraine's path does not guarantee immediate accession at the Vilnius summit, but it will significantly speed up and simplify the country's accession to the Alliance.

Read more about the steps Ukraine needs to take to become a NATO member and who opposes it here.




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When will Ukraine join NATO?


The vast majority of analysts are convinced that Ukraine needs to end the war in order to join NATO. Ukrainian authorities share a similar position, emphasizing the need for an official invitation to join the Alliance. 

And the main paradox is that NATO membership requires victory and cessation of hostilities, but it is the full-scale invasion of Russia that has become a window of opportunity for Ukraine. After all, the current level of support for the state from Western partners is at its historical peak. 


In particular, Ukraine's accession to NATO before the full-scale war was considered impossible because Ukraine's membership was a risk and a threat to the Alliance, not an advantage. That is why even discussions on the MAP program were constantly postponed since 1994. Moreover, accession to NATO was blocked even by the Ukrainian government, in particular by pro-russian President Viktor Yanukovych, who liquidated the interagency commission on preparing the state for membership in the Alliance and the national center for Euro-Atlantic integration, and later declared Ukraine's non-aligned status. This status was canceled only in 2014, when Petro Poroshenko came to power. However, Ukraine's accession to NATO was out of the question in the coming years, because, at the very least, the country had neither the economic, political, nor military capabilities to do so, and at most because russia had annexed Crimea and launched a military invasion in eastern Ukraine.


However, today, Ukraine is not "asking" for membership, but confidently assures that it is not NATO that needs it, but it needs Ukraine. And the vast majority of NATO member states agree that Ukraine will not become a "burden" for the military-political alliance. That is why we hope for the best and look forward to the results of the summit in Vilnius, which will be announced in the near future.


We remind you that Ukraine is just beginning to take steps to return all the occupied territories, but the country must be prepared for the challenges it will face on this path. In our previous article, we talked about the problems that experts call the most difficult in the process of reintegrating the liberated Crimea and Donbas.




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