Enlargement of NATO

Enlargement of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) is the process of including new member states in NATO. NATO is a military alliance of twenty-seven European and two North American countries that constitutes a system of collective defense. The process of joining the alliance is governed by Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty, which allows only for the invitation of "other European States", and by subsequent agreements. Countries wishing to join have to meet certain requirements and complete a multi-step process involving political dialogue and military integration. The accession process is overseen by the North Atlantic Council, NATO's governing body.

After its formation in 1949 with twelve founding members, NATO grew by including Greece and Turkey in 1952 and West Germany in 1955, and then later Spain in 1982. After the Cold War ended, and Germany reunited in 1990, there was a debate in NATO about continued expansion eastward. In 1999, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic joined the organization, amid much debate within the organization and Russian opposition. Another expansion came with the accession of seven Central and Eastern European countries: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia. These nations were first invited to start talks of membership during the 2002 Prague summit, and joined NATO shortly before the 2004 Istanbul summit. Albania and Croatia joined on 1 April 2009, prior to the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit. The most recent member state to be added to NATO is Montenegro on 5 June 2017.

As of 2019, NATO officially recognizes four aspiring members: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, North Macedonia and Ukraine. North Macedonia signed an accession protocol to become a NATO member state in February 2019, which is undergoing ratification by the member states. Future expansion is currently a topic of debate in several countries outside the alliance, and countries like Sweden, Finland, and Serbia have open political debate on the topic of membership, while in countries like Ukraine, support and opposition to membership is tied to ethnic and nationalist ideologies. The incorporation of countries formerly part of the Eastern Bloc and the Soviet Union has been a cause of increased tension between NATO countries and Russia.

Map of NATO chronological
Map of NATO countries' chronological membership

Past enlargements

Bundesarchiv Bild 183-27106-0001, Paris, Verhandlungen über NATO-Beitritt
Negotiations in London and Paris in 1954 ended the allied occupation of West Germany and allowed for its rearmament as a NATO member.

NATO has added new members seven times since its founding in 1949 to include twenty-nine members. Twelve countries were part of the founding of NATO: Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The early years of the Cold War saw a stark divide between Capitalist states, backed by United States, and Communist satellite states of the Soviet Union. This divide eased inclusion of Portugal under Salazar in NATO and encouraged the anti-Communist governments of Greece and Turkey to join NATO in 1952. Greece would suspend its membership in 1974, over the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, but rejoined in 1980 with Turkey's cooperation.[1]

The Bonn–Paris conventions ended the allies’ occupation of West Germany, and were ratified in part on the condition that West Germany join NATO, which it did in 1955.[2] Though initially isolationist, Spain under Francisco Franco was staunchly anti-Communist, and bound by regular defence agreements with NATO countries.[3] After its transition to democracy, Spain came under pressure to normalize its European relations, including joining NATO, which it did in 1982. A referendum in 1986 confirmed popular support for this.[4]

German reunification

The first post-Cold War expansion of NATO came with German reunification on 3 October 1990, when the former East Germany became part of the Federal Republic of Germany and the alliance. This had been agreed in the Two Plus Four Treaty earlier in the year. To secure Soviet approval of a united Germany remaining in NATO, it was agreed that foreign troops and nuclear weapons would not be stationed in the former East Germany, and the topic of further NATO expansion east was raised.[5]

There is no mention of NATO enlargement in the September–October 1990 agreements on German reunification, so there was no formal commitment not to expand.[6][7] Whether or not the West informally committed to not enlarge NATO to the East is a matter of dispute among historians and international relations scholars.[6] Harvard University historian Mark Kramer rejects that an informal agreement existed,[6][8] whereas Texas A&M University political scientist Joshua R. Itzkowitz Shifrinson argues that an informal agreement existed.[6][7] In December 2017, Svetlana Savranskaya and Tom Blanton of the National Security Archive at George Washington University argued that newly declassified documents showed that an informal agreement existed.[9][10]

Jack Matlock, US ambassador to the Soviet Union during its final years, said that the West gave a "clear commitment" not to expand, and declassified documents indicate that Soviet negotiators were given the oral impression by diplomats like Hans-Dietrich Genscher and James Baker that NATO membership was off the table for countries such as Czechoslovakia, Hungary, or Poland.[11][7] In 1996, Gorbachev wrote in his Memoirs, that "during the negotiations on the unification of Germany they gave assurances that NATO would not extend its zone of operation to the east,"[12] and repeated this view in an interview in 2008.[13] However, in 2014, Gorbachev said "The topic of 'NATO expansion' was not discussed at all [in 1990], and it wasn't brought up in those years. I say this with full responsibility. Western leaders didn't bring it up, either."[6][14] Eduard Shevardnadze, foreign minister of the Soviet Union between 1985 and 1991, has always maintained that "NATO's expansion beyond German borders never came up for negotiation."[6] According to Robert Zoellick, a State Department official involved in the Two Plus Four negotiating process, no formal commitment regarding enlargement was made.[15]

Visegrád Group

NATO Summit in Washington 1999
NATO added the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland at the 1999 Washington summit, and established the protocol for Membership Action Plans.

In February 1991, Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic and Slovakia (as Czechoslovakia) formed the Visegrád Group to push for European integration under the European Union and NATO, as well as to conduct military reforms in line with NATO standards. Internal NATO reaction to these former Warsaw Pact countries was initially negative, but by the 1991 Rome summit in November, members agreed to a series of goals that could lead to accession, such as market and democratic liberalization, and that NATO should be a partner in these efforts. In subsequent years, wider forums for regional cooperation between NATO and its eastern neighbors were set up, including the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (later the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council) and the Partnership for Peace.[16]

While the other Visegrád members were invited to join NATO at its 1997 Madrid summit, Slovakia was excluded based on what several members considered undemocratic actions by nationalist Prime Minister Vladimír Mečiar.[17] Romania and Slovenia were both considered for invitation in 1997, and each had the backing of a prominent NATO member, France and Italy respectively, but support for enlargement was not unanimous, particularly in the US Congress.[18] In an open letter to US President Bill Clinton, more than forty foreign policy experts including Bill Bradley, Sam Nunn, Gary Hart, Paul Nitze, and Robert McNamara expressed their concerns about NATO expansion as both expensive and unnecessary given the lack of an external threat from Russia at that time.[19]

A 2006 study in the journal Security Studies argued that the NATO enlargements in 1999 and 2004 contributed to democratic consolidation in Central and Eastern Europe.[20]

Vilnius Group

Flags of Nato, Bulgaria, European Union - Military club, Plovdiv, Bulgaria
Flags of NATO, Bulgaria, European Union at the Military club of Plovdiv, Bulgaria

Domestic politics in Eastern European countries continued to push for more enlargement, and political parties reluctant to move on NATO membership, such as the Bulgarian Socialist Party and Slovak HZDS, were voted out of office.[21] Hungary's interest in joining was confirmed by a November 1997 referendum that returned 85.3 percent in favor of membership.[22] Russia's actions in the First Chechen War were also a motivating factor for several countries that had memories of similar Soviet offensives.[23]

At the 1999 Washington summit, where Hungary, Poland, and the Czech Republic officially joined, NATO also issued new guidelines for membership with individualized "Membership Action Plans" for Albania, Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, North Macedonia, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.[24] In May 2000, these countries joined with Croatia to form the Vilnius Group in order to cooperate and lobby for common NATO membership, and by the 2002 Prague summit seven were invited for membership, which took place at the 2004 Istanbul summit.[25] Russia was particularly upset with the addition of the three Baltic states, the first countries that were part of the Soviet Union to join NATO.[26][25]

Adriatic Charter

Croatia also started a Membership Action Plan at the 2002 summit, leading to a national debate on whether a referendum on NATO membership needed to be held there. Croatian Prime Minister Ivo Sanader ultimately agreed in January 2008, as part of forming a coalition government with the HSS and HSLS parties, not to officially propose one.[27] Montenegro declared independence on 3 June 2006, and the new country subsequently joined the Partnership for Peace programme at the 2006 Riga summit. Albania and Croatia were invited to join NATO at the 2008 Bucharest summit that April, though Slovenia threatened to hold up Croatian membership over their border dispute in the Bay of Piran.[28] Slovenia did ratify Croatia's accession protocol in February 2009,[29] and Croatia and Albania both officially joined NATO just prior to the 2009 Strasbourg–Kehl summit, with little opposition from Russia.[30]

Montenegro applied for a Membership Action Plan on 5 November 2008,[31] which was granted in December 2009.[32] Montenegro also began full membership with the Adriatic Charter of NATO aspirants in May 2009.[33][34] On December 2, 2015, NATO formally invited Montenegro to join the alliance,[35] with negotiations concluding in May 2016.[36] Montenegro formally joined NATO on 5 June 2017.[37]

Country Enlargement
Date
Map of NATO expansion since 1949
18 February 1952  Greece First
 Turkey
9 May 1955  West Germany Second
30 May 1982  Spain Third
3 October 1990 German reunification
12 March 1999  Czech Republic Fourth
 Hungary
 Poland
29 March 2004  Bulgaria Fifth
 Estonia
 Latvia
 Lithuania
 Romania
 Slovakia
 Slovenia
1 April 2009  Albania Sixth
 Croatia
5 June 2017  Montenegro Seventh

Criteria and process

Article 10

The North Atlantic Treaty is the basis of the organization and as such, any changes including new membership requires ratification by all current signers of the treaty. The treaty's Article 10 describes how non-member states may join NATO, and outlines NATO's "open door" policy:

The Parties may by unanimous agreement, invite any other European State in a position to further the principles of this Treaty and to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic area to accede to this Treaty. Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing its instrument of accession with the Government of the United States of America. The Government of the United States of America will inform each of the Parties of the deposit of each such instrument of accession.[38]

This article poses two general limits to non-member states. First, only European states are eligible for new membership, and second, these states not only need the approval of all the existing member states, but every member state can put some criteria forward that have to be attained. In practice, NATO formulates a common set of criteria, but for instance Greece blocked the Republic of Macedonia's accession to NATO for many years due to the disagreement over the use of the name Macedonia. Turkey similarly opposes the participation of the Republic of Cyprus with NATO institutions as long as the Cyprus dispute is not resolved.[39]

Since the 1991 Rome summit, when the delegations of its member states officially offered cooperation with Europe's newly democratic states, NATO has addressed and further defined the expectations and procedure for adding new members. The 1994 Brussels Declaration reaffirmed the principles in Article 10 and led to the "Study on NATO Enlargement". Published in September 1995, the study outlined the "how and why" of possible enlargement in Europe,[40] highlighting three principles from the 1949 treaty for members to have: "democracy, individual liberty, and rule of law".[41]

As NATO Secretary General Willy Claes noted, the 1995 study did not specify the "who or when,"[42] though it discussed how the then newly formed Partnership for Peace and North Atlantic Cooperation Council could assist in the enlargement process,[43] and noted that on-going territorial disputes could be an issue for whether a country was invited.[44] At the 1997 Madrid summit, the heads of state of NATO issued the "Madrid Declaration on Euro-Atlantic Security and Cooperation" which invited three Eastern European countries to join the alliance, out of the twelve that had at that point requested to join, laying out a path for others to follow.[40]

Membership Action Plan

The biggest step in the formalization of the process for inviting new members came at the 1999 Washington summit when the Membership Action Plan (MAP) mechanism was approved as a stage for the current members to regularly review the formal applications of aspiring members. A country's participation in MAP entails the annual presentation of reports concerning its progress on five different measures:[45]

  • Willingness to settle international, ethnic or external territorial disputes by peaceful means, commitment to the rule of law and human rights, and democratic control of armed forces
  • Ability to contribute to the organization's defence and missions
  • Devotion of sufficient resources to armed forces to be able to meet the commitments of membership
  • Security of sensitive information, and safeguards ensuring it
  • Compatibility of domestic legislation with NATO cooperation

NATO provides feedback as well as technical advice to each country and evaluates its progress on an individual basis.[46] Once a country is agreed to meet the requirements, NATO can issue that country an invitation to begin accession talks.[47] Currently, two countries have a Membership Action Plan: Bosnia and Herzegovina and North Macedonia.[48] Former MAP participants were Albania and Croatia between May 2002 and April 2009, and Montenegro between December 2009 and June 2017, when they joined NATO. The final accession process, once invited, involves five steps leading up to the signing of the accession protocols and the acceptance and ratification of those protocols by the governments of the current NATO members.[49]

Intensified Dialogue

Intensified Dialogue was first introduced in April 2005 at an informal meeting of foreign ministers in Vilnius, Lithuania, as a response to Ukrainian aspirations for NATO membership and related reforms taking place under President Viktor Yushchenko, and which followed the 2002 signing of the NATO–Ukraine Action Plan under his predecessor, Leonid Kuchma.[46] This formula, which includes discussion of a "full range of political, military, financial and security issues relating to possible NATO membership" had its roots in the 1997 Madrid summit, where the participants had agreed "to continue the Alliance's intensified dialogues with those nations that aspire to NATO membership or that otherwise with to pursue a dialogue with NATO on membership questions".[50]

In September 2006, Georgia became the second to be offered the Intensified Dialogue status, following a rapid change in foreign policy under President Mikhail Saakashvili,[51] and what they perceived as a demonstration of military readiness during the 2006 Kodori crisis.[52] Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Serbia similarly received offers at the April 2008 Bucharest summit.[53] While their neighbors both requested and accepted the dialogue programme, Serbia's offer was presented to guarantee the possibility of future ties with the alliance.[54]

Current status

North Macedonia signed an accession protocol to NATO on 6 February 2019. Bosnia and Herzegovina is the only other country with a Membership Action Plan, which together with Georgia, were named NATO "aspirant countries" at the North Atlantic Council meeting on 7 December 2011.[55] Ukraine was recognized as an aspirant country after the 2014 Ukrainian revolution.

NATO Aspirant Countries
Country[56] Partnership for Peace[57] Individual Partnership Action Plan[58] Intensified Dialogue Membership Action Plan[48] Accession Protocol
 North Macedonia November 1995     April 1999 February 2019 [59]
 Bosnia and Herzegovina December 2006 September 2008[60] April 2008[61] December 2018[62][Note 1]
 Georgia March 1994 October 2004 September 2006[64]
 Ukraine February 1994 [Note 2] April 2005[66]
  1. ^ Originally invited to join the MAP in April 2010 under the condition that no Annual National Programme would be launched until one of the conditions for the OHR closure – the transfer of control of immovable defence property to the central Bosnian authorities from the two regional political entities – was fulfilled.[63] Condition waived in 2018.
  2. ^ NATO–Ukraine Action Plan adopted on 22 November 2002.[65]

Bosnia and Herzegovina

Romanian Armored Personnel Carrier.JPEG
NATO-led Romanian IFOR peacekeepers patrolled Bosnia and Herzegovina under Operation Joint Endeavour.

The 1995 NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina targeted the Bosnian Serb Army and together with international pressure led to the resolution of the Bosnian War and the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995. Since then, NATO has led the Implementation Force and Stabilization Force, and other peacekeeping efforts in the country. Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Partnership for Peace in 2006, and signed an agreement on security cooperation in March 2007.[67]

Bosnia and Herzegovina began further cooperation with NATO within their Individual Partnership Action Plan in January 2008.[60] The country then started the process of Intensified Dialogue at the 2008 Bucharest summit.[61] The country was invited to join the Adriatic Charter of NATO aspirants in September 2008.[68]

The Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina within Bosnia and Herzegovina has expressed willingness to join NATO, however, it faces consistent political pressure from Republika Srpska, the other political entity in the country, alongside its partners in Russia. On 2 October 2009, Haris Silajdžić, the Bosniak Member of the Presidency, announced official application for Membership Action Plan. On 22 April 2010, NATO agreed to launch the Membership Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but with certain conditions attached.[63] Turkey is thought to be the biggest supporter of Bosnian membership, and heavily influenced the decision.[69]

The conditions of the MAP, however, stipulated that no Annual National Programme could be launched until 63 military facilities are transferred from Bosnia's political divisions to the central government, which is one of the conditions for the OHR closure.[70][71] The leadership of the Republika Srpska has opposed this transfer as a loss of autonomy.[72] All movable property, including all weapons and other army equipment, is fully registered as the property of the country starting 1 January 2006.[73] A ruling of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 6 August 2017 decided that a disputed military facility in Han Pijesak is to be registered as property of Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is expected to be a precedent for all other similar facilities, and could thus be the final factor that will enable the activation of the MAP for Bosnia.[74] Despite that all immovable property is not fully registered, NATO approved the activation of the Membership Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and called on Bosnia to submit an Annual National Program on 5 December 2018.[75]

An August 2010 poll showed that 70 percent of the country supports NATO membership, but results were very different in the two constituent entities. While 90 percent of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina supported NATO membership, only 33 percent in Republika Srpska did.[76]

Bosnia's chances of joining NATO may depend on Serbia's attitude towards the alliance, since the leadership of Republika Srpska might be reluctant to go against Serbian interests.[77] In October 2017, the National Assembly of the Republika Srpska passed a nonbinding resolution opposing NATO membership for Bosnia and Herzegovina.[78]

Georgia

Nato poster tbilisi
An August 2009 sign in downtown Tbilisi promoting eventual integration with NATO

Georgia moved quickly following the Rose Revolution in 2003 to seek closer ties with NATO. Georgia's northern neighbor, Russia, opposed the closer ties, including those expressed at the 2008 Bucharest summit where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization.[79]

Complications in the relationship between NATO and Georgia includes the presence of Russian military forces in internationally recognized Georgian territory as a result of multiple recent conflicts, like the 2008 Russo-Georgian War over the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both of which are home to a large number of citizens of the Russian Federation. On 21 November 2011, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev while addressing soldiers in Vladikavkaz near the Georgian border stated that Russia's 2008 invasion had prevented any further NATO enlargement into the former Soviet sphere.[79]

A nonbinding referendum in 2008 resulted in 72.5 percent of voters supporting NATO accession.[80] In May 2013, Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili stated that his goal was to get a Membership Action Plan (MAP) for his country from NATO in 2014.[81] In June 2014, diplomats from NATO suggested that while a MAP was unlikely, a package of "reinforced cooperation" agreements was a possible compromise.[82] Anders Fogh Rasmussen confirmed that this could include the building of military capabilities and armed forces training.[83]

North Macedonia

Macedonian Soldiers in Kabul
Macedonian troops have participated with NATO security missions including ISAF in Afghanistan and KFOR in Kosovo.[84]

The country joined the Partnership for Peace in 1995, and commenced its Membership Action Plan in 1999, at the same time as Albania. Participating in the 1999 NATO intervention in Kosovo, it received aid from NATO in dealing with refugees fleeing from Kosovo. In August 2001, NATO intervened in the 2001 insurgency, during which a rebel Albanian group, the National Liberation Army, fought government forces. In Operation Essential Harvest, NATO troops joined with the Macedonian military to disarm rebel forces following a cease-fire agreement.[85]

At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Greece blocked a proposed invitation because it believed that its neighbor's constitutional name implies territorial aspirations toward its own region of Greek Macedonia. NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute.[86] Macedonia sued Greece at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) over their veto of Macedonia's NATO membership. The ICJ ruled in December 2011 that Greece was wrong to have blocked its neighbor's bid, finding them in breach of a 1995 interim accord that allowed Macedonia to join international organizations under the name "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", which is how NATO, with the exception of Turkey, recognized their bid.[87] Greece also blocked Macedonia's accession to the European Union over the naming dispute.[61] Macedonia was part of the Vilnius Group, and had formed the Adriatic Charter with Croatia and Albania in 2003 to better coordinate NATO accession.[88] In March 2016, Macedonian Defense Minister Zoran Jolevski stated his hope that his country's handling of the European migrant crisis might bring it closer to NATO membership.[89]

A poll following the 2008 summit showed that 82.5 percent of citizens surveyed opposed changing the constitutional name in order to join NATO.[90] Elections were called following the 2008 summit, resulting in further support for the centre-right pro-NATO party, VMRO-DPMNE. The elections were marred by violence that was criticized by NATO members.[91] Ethnic tensions have persisted in North Macedonia, and NATO has called for dialogue following clashes such as those in the city of Kumanovo in 2015, which were blamed in part on the delay in NATO and European integration.[92][93] NATO membership in general is supported by 81 percent according to a November 2014 poll.[94] On 12 June 2017, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev signaled he would consider alternatives names for the country in order to strike a compromise with Greece, settle the naming dispute, and lift Greek objections to North Macedonia joining the alliance. Zaev also floated the idea of Macedonia joining the alliance under the provisional name it used at the United Nations.[95] After the Prespa Agreement was reached in June 2018, NATO invited North Macedonia to begin membership talks on 11 July 2018, saying the country could join the organization once the naming issue was resolved.[96] Formal accession talks began on 18 October 2018[97] and NATO's members signed North Macedonia's accession protocol on 6 February 2019.[98]

Ukraine

Vladimir Putin and Viktor Yanukovych in 2006
As president, Viktor Yanukovych pursued closer relations with Russia.

Ukraine's present and future relationship with NATO has been politically divisive, and is part of a larger debate between Ukraine's political and cultural ties to both the European Union and Russia. It established ties to the alliance with a NATO–Ukraine Action Plan on 22 November 2002,[65][99] and joined NATO's Partnership for Peace initiative in February 2005.[100] Then in April 2005, Ukraine entered into the Intensified Dialogue programme with NATO.[50]

In March 2008, under Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, Ukraine sent an official letter of application for a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the first step in joining NATO. These leaders however guaranteed their opposition that membership in any military alliance would not pass without public approval in a referendum.[101] This idea had gained support from a number of NATO leaders, particularly those in Central and Eastern Europe.[102] Russian leaders like Prime Minister and President-Elect Dmitry Medvedev made clear their opposition to Ukraine membership, and leading up to the April 2008 Bucharest summit their emissary actively lobbied against a Ukrainian MAP. After some debate among members at the summit, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer declared in a press conference that Ukraine, together with Georgia, would someday join NATO, but neither would begin Membership Action Plans.[103] At this summit, Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his last international speech before switching jobs with Medvedev, listed his grievances with NATO, and called Ukrainian membership "a direct threat" to his country.[104]

Маккейн на Євромайдані
The Euromaidan protests that led to Viktor Yanukovych fleeing the presidency attracted support from Western politicians.

The 2010 election returned Viktor Yanukovych to the presidency and marked a turnaround in Ukraine's relations with NATO. In February 2010, he stated that Ukraine's relations with NATO were currently "well-defined", and that there was "no question of Ukraine joining NATO". He said the issue of Ukrainian membership of NATO might "emerge at some point, but we will not see it in the immediate future".[105] While visiting Brussels in March 2010, he further stated that there would be no change to Ukraine's status as a member of the alliance's outreach programme.[106] He later reiterated during a trip to Moscow that Ukraine would remain a "European, non-aligned state".[107][108] Then, on 3 June 2010 the Ukrainian parliament voted to exclude the goal of "integration into Euro-Atlantic security and NATO membership" from the country's national security strategy in a bill drafted by Yanukovych himself.[109] The bill forbade Ukraine's membership in any military bloc, but allowed for co-operation with alliances such as NATO.[110]

Secretary Kerry Joins President Obama for Meeting With Ukrainian President Poroshenko Before NATO Summit in Wales (14950820747)
Petro Poroshenko was elected as President of Ukraine in 2014, and met with NATO leaders prior to the Wales summit about relations with the alliance.

Following months of Euromaidan street protests that began because of his refusal to sign an Association Agreement with the European Union in favor of deals from Russia, President Yanukovych fled Kyiv in February 2014, ultimately to Russia, and parliament voted to remove him from his post. This brought another change in direction of Ukraine's association with Europe and by extension NATO. In 2014, pro-Russian unrest occurred in eastern Ukraine and Crimea was annexed by the Russian Federation in March. As part of an effort to assuage concerned groups, newly installed Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk addressed the topic in a speech on 18 March 2014, emphasizing that Ukraine was not seeking NATO membership.[111] US President Barack Obama echoed this position the following week, while calling for greater NATO presence in Eastern Europe.[112]

However, in response to the Russian military intervention in Ukraine,[113] Yatsenyuk announced his intentions to resume the bid for NATO integration on 29 August 2014,[114] and in December 2014, Ukraine's parliament voted to drop the non-aligned status that it adopted in 2010.[115] NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen has stated that NATO membership is still an option for Ukraine,[116] and support for NATO membership has risen to 63.9 percent in government-controlled Ukraine according to a July 2015 poll.[117] Previous polls had shown that the decline in opposition to membership was linked to the ongoing Russian intervention.[118]

On 8 June 2017, Ukraine's Verkhovna Rada passed a law making integration with NATO a foreign policy priority.[119] In July 2017 Poroshenko announced that he would seek the opening of negotiations on a Membership Action Plan with NATO.[120]

By March 2018, NATO had recognized Ukraine as an aspirant country.[56]

On September 20, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament approved amendments to the constitution that would make the accession of the country to NATO and the EU a central goal and the main foreign policy objective.[121]

Membership debates

Finland

Finnish border in Raattentie - panoramio
The border between Finland and Russia is about 1,340 km (833 mi) long.[122]

Finland participates in nearly all sub-areas of the Partnership for Peace programme, and has provided peacekeeping forces to both the Afghanistan and Kosovo missions. The possibility of Finland's membership in NATO was one of the most important issues debated in relation to the Finnish presidential election of 2006, and continues to be a significant issue in Finnish politics.[123] In 2007, Finland made various technical preparations for membership, with the then Defence Minister Jyri Häkämies eager to pursue NATO membership.[124] Nevertheless, public interest in the issue has since decreased. In April 2014, the government announced that they would sign a "Memorandum of Understanding" with NATO on Finland's readiness to receive military assistance and to aid NATO in equipment maintenance. However, Defence Minister Carl Haglund emphasized that this memorandum would not be a step towards membership.[125]

Out of the major Finnish political parties, the National Coalition Party and Swedish People's Party of Finland support NATO membership. In 2016, the party conference of the National Coalition Party agreed that Finland should apply for membership in the "following years".[126] In the vision of the Swedish People's Party of Finland, Finland will be a NATO member in 2025.[127] Many individual politicians have advocated for NATO as well, including the current President Sauli Niinistö and former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb,[128] as well as former President Martti Ahtisaari,[123][129] who has argued that Finland should join all the organizations supported by other Western democracies in order "to shrug off once and for all the burden of Finlandization."[130] Two other former presidents from the Social Democratic Party, Tarja Halonen and Mauno Koivisto, have publicly opposed the idea, arguing that NATO membership would deteriorate Finland's relations with Russia.[131]

Finland has received some very critical feedback from Russia for even considering the possibility of joining NATO,[132] with a 2009 study suggesting this could have repercussions for Russia's relations with the EU and NATO as a whole.[133] Following the 2008 Russo-Georgian War, Finnish Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen reiterated that Finland had no plans to join NATO, and stated that the main lesson of the war was the need for closer ties to Russia.[134] In a June 2014 interview in the Finnish newspaper Hufvudstadsbladet, Vladimir Putin's personal envoy Sergey Alexandrovich Markov accused Finland of extreme "Russophobia" and suggested that Finland joining NATO could start World War III.[135] In July 2016, Putin stated on a visit to Finland, that Russia would increase the number of troops on the Finnish border if Finland were to join NATO. He also warned that NATO would "fight to the last Finn against Russia".[136][137]

A survey conducted by Finnish pollster EVA in January 2015 found that 43 percent of Finns polled opposed NATO membership, while 26 percent supported and 32 percent were undecided. EVA has noted a downward trend in the percent opposed that started in 1998, including a steep decline after the 2012 presidential election.[138] In March 2014, during Russia's annexation of Crimea, one survey showed only 22 percent supported membership,[139] though a second showed that 53 percent would support membership if Finnish leadership recommended it.[140] Support for a military alliance with neighbor Sweden was also high, at 54 percent,[141] and Finland could possibly seek an enlarged role for NORDEFCO.[142] Finnish Minister of Defence Carl Haglund suggested that a referendum on NATO membership could be held sometime after the 2015 parliamentary election.[143] The newest poll from October 2017 showed that support for membership remained at 22%, while rising to 33% in the suggested scenario in which Sweden would join.[144]

Ireland

20140828 Irish delegation at opening ceremonies
Ireland currently does not seek to join NATO, but does work to improve the Defence Forces' interoperability with NATO[145]

Ireland has been a member of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC) since 1999, but has not applied to join NATO as a member state due to its traditional policy of military neutrality.[146] Ireland participates in the alliance's PfP Planning and Review Process (PARP), which aims to increase the interoperability of the Irish military, the Defence Forces, with other NATO member states and bring them into line with accepted international standards so as to successfully deploy with other professional military forces on peacekeeping operations overseas.[147] Ireland supplied a small number of troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in Afghanistan (2001–2014) and supports the ongoing NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR).[148][149]

Currently no major political party in Ireland fully supports ascension into NATO, a reflection on public and media opinion in the country.[150] There are a number of politicians who support Ireland joining NATO, mainly within the centre-right Fine Gael party, but the majority of politicians still do not.[151][152] It is widely understood that a referendum would have to be held before any changes could be made to neutrality or to joining NATO.[153] Former Secretary General of NATO Anders Fogh Rasmussen said during a visit to the country in 2013 that the "door is open" for Ireland to join NATO at any time.[154]

Moldova

Moldova's constitution forbids the country from joining a military alliance, but some politicians, such as Moldovan Minister of Defence Vitalie Marinuța, have suggested joining NATO as part of a larger European integration. Moldova joined NATO's Partnership for Peace in 1994, and initiated an Individual Partnership Action Plan in 2010.[155] Following the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, NATO officials warned that Russia might seek to annex Transnistria, a breakaway Moldovan region.[156] This separatist issue could preclude Moldova from joining NATO.[155]

Serbia

Neću Nato
NEĆU NATO (I do not want NATO) anti-NATO graffiti in Belgrade

The NATO intervention in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1992 and the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999 resulted in strained relations between Serbia and NATO. Relations were further strained following Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008 while a protectorate of the United Nations with security support from NATO. However, Serbia was invited and joined the Partnership for Peace programme during the 2006 Riga summit and in 2008, was invited to enter the intensified dialogue programme whenever the country is ready.[54]

Serbia's Parliament passed a resolution in 2007 which declared their military neutrality until such time as a referendum was held on the issue.[157] On 1 October 2008, Serbian Defence Minister Dragan Šutanovac signed the Information Exchange Agreement with NATO, one of the prerequisites for fuller membership in the Partnership for Peace programme.[158] In April 2011 Serbia's request for an IPAP was approved by NATO,[159] and Serbia submitted a draft IPAP in May 2013.[160] The agreement was finalized on 15 January 2015.[161]

A CeSID poll in June 2015 conducted with the support of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) indicated that only 12 percent of those polled supported for NATO membership, down from 25 percent in 2012, and 73 percent were opposed.[162] The minor Liberal Democratic Party and Serbian Renewal Movement remain the most vocal political parties in favor of NATO membership.[163] Although Serbia aspires to join the European Union, Serbia may seek to maintain military neutrality, joining neither NATO nor the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).[77][164]

Sweden

Estonia's Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge
Sweden has close relations with NATO and NATO members, and participates in training exercises like the Admiral Pitka Recon Challenge in Estonia.

In 1949 Sweden chose not to join NATO and declared a security policy aiming for non-alignment in peace and neutrality in war.[165] A modified version now qualifies non-alignment in peace for possible neutrality in war. This position was maintained without much discussion during the Cold War. Since the 1990s however there has been an active debate in Sweden on the question of NATO membership in the post–Cold War world.[166] These ideological divides were visible in November 2006 when Sweden could either buy two new transport planes or join NATO's plane pool, and in December 2006, when Sweden was invited to join the NATO Response Force.[167][168] Sweden have been active participants in NATO-led missions in Bosnia (IFOR and SFOR), Kosovo (KFOR), Afghanistan (ISAF), and Libya (Operation Unified Protector).[169]

The ruling Swedish Social Democratic Party have remained in favour of neutrality and non-alignment.[170] This preference is shared by their partners, the Green Party, as well as the Left Party. The centre-right Moderate Party and the Liberal Party are the largest parties by current parliamentary representation in favor of NATO membership.[171] The 2014 Russian annexation of Crimea is credited with renewed public calls for NATO membership from notable politicians.[172][173] The Centre Party was opposed to NATO membership until September 2015, when party leadership under Annie Lööf announced that they would motion to change the party policy in order to push for Sweden to join NATO at their next party conference. The Christian Democrats, also previously opposed, likewise voted to support NATO membership at their party meeting on 9 October 2015.[174]

Polling has shown a rise in support for NATO membership among Swedes since 2008 according to Ipsos polling, going from 22 percent in May 2008 to 33 percent in January 2015,[175][176] with another from the SOM Institute in May 2015 showing similar numbers.[177] According to Svenska Dagbladet, support in 2011 was at 23 percent,[178] and has risen somewhat significantly to 41 percent in September 2015, when only 39 percent of respondents were opposed to NATO membership.[179] An October 2014 survey commissioned by TV4 News also showed slightly more respondents supporting membership than opposing it.[175] In 2014, news that a military expert in Sweden had calculated that the country could hold out for a week if attacked temporarily lifted support for NATO membership in polls.[180] A May 2017 poll by Pew showed that support for membership had risen to 47 percent.[181]

Other countries

Malta - Dingli - Triq Panoramika - Radar 15 ies
A NATO radar facility in Malta. Like other non-NATO member European states, Malta has generally cooperative relations with the organization.[182]

Austria and Switzerland are both members of the Partnership for Peace, and border NATO member states. Malta is also a member of the Partnership for Peace and the European Union.[183] However, each country has a long-standing policy of neutrality. Cyprus is the only member state of the European Union that is not a member of the Partnership for Peace, with any treaty blocked by Turkey's concerns regarding the Cyprus dispute.[184]

According to Minister of Foreign Affairs Enver Hoxhaj, integration with NATO is a priority for Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in 2008.[185] Hoxhaj stated in 2014 that the country's goal is to be a NATO member by 2022.[186] However, four NATO member statesGreece, Romania, Spain, and Slovakia—do not recognize Kosovo's independence.[187] United Nations membership, which Kosovo does not have, is considered to be necessary for NATO membership.[188] In December 2018, the Kosovar Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj stated that Kosovo will apply for NATO membership after the formation of the Kosovo Armed Forces.[189]

Russia, Armenia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan are all members of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), an alternative military alliance. In 2009, Russian envoy Dmitry Rogozin did not rule out joining NATO at some point, but stated that Russia was currently more interested in leading a coalition as a great power.[190] Azerbaijan has committed to a policy of neutrality, but has not ruled out eventually joining NATO or the CSTO.[191][192]

Some individuals have proposed expanding NATO outside of Europe, although doing so would require amending Article 10 of the North Atlantic Treaty.[193] Christopher Sands of the Hudson Institute proposed Mexican membership of NATO in order to enhance NATO cooperation with Mexico and develop a "North American pillar" for regional security.[194] In June 2013, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos stated his hope that Colombia's cooperation with NATO could result in NATO membership, though his Foreign Minister, Juan Carlos Pinzon, quickly clarified that Colombia is not actively seeking NATO membership.[195] Ivo Daalder and James Goldgeier proposed a "global NATO" that would incorporate democratic states from around the world, including Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Brazil, South Africa, and India,[193] while Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani suggested expanding NATO to include Singapore, Israel, Australia, India, and Japan.[196]

On March 20 2019, US President, Donald Trump said he would make Brazil a Major non-NATO ally at a meeting with Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro at the White House. During a joint press conference, President Trump expressed support for the eventual ascension of Brazil into NATO.[197] France however has rejected the proposal claiming Article 10 of the treaty limits geography of membership to European countries.[198]

See also

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Bibliography

External links

Accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina to NATO

The accession of Bosnia and Herzegovina to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has been under negotiations since 2008.

Bosnia and Herzegovina joined the Partnership for Peace program of NATO in 2006, and signed an agreement on security cooperation in March 2007. The nation began further cooperation with NATO within their Individual Partnership Action Plan in January 2008. Bosnia then started the process of Intensified Dialogue at the 2008 Bucharest summit. The country was invited to join the Adriatic Charter of NATO aspirants on 25 September 2008. Then in November 2008, a joint announcement from the Defence Minister and the NATO Mission Office in Sarajevo suggested that Bosnia and Herzegovina could join NATO by 2011 if it continues with the reforms made in the defence-area so far.In January 2009, Defence Minister Selmo Cikotić again confirmed Bosnia's interest in seeking a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the 2009 summit, with membership by 2012 at the latest. In February 2009 The Defence Minister of BiH Selmo Cikotić presented some poll numbers on NATO-membership: 70% of the country supports NATO-membership; however while 89% of the Federation Entity supports NATO-membership, only 44% in the RS-entity did. While the country did not receive an MAP at the April 2009 summit in Strasbourg–Kehl, Stuart Jones, an official of the US State Department, said on a September 2009 visit to Bosnia and Herzegovina that NATO was going to look at the possibilities for them to receive one in a December 2009 summit, repeating strong US support for the possibility. Then on 2 October 2009, Haris Silajdžić, the Bosniak Member of the Presidency, announced an official application for Membership Action Plan (MAP). On 22 April 2010, NATO agreed to launch the MAP for Bosnia and Herzegovina, but with certain conditions attached. Turkey is thought to be the biggest supporter of Bosnian membership.Bosnia and Herzegovina has yet to fulfil the condition to launch an Annual National Programme under its MAP: the transfer of the registration of 63 military facilities from the local level to the central government. As of November 2018, 33 have been fully transferred, all of which are located in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Republika Srpska (RS), the Serbian political subdivision of Bosnia, has opposed the move and refuses to transfer the 23 properties located in its territory. A Bosnia court has ruled that it must transfer the military facility in Han Pijesak in RS to the Bosnian government. This was upheld by a ruling of the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 16 August 2017.Despite that all immovable property is not fully registered, NATO approved the activation of the Membership Action Plan for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and called on Bosnia to submit an Annual National Program on 5 December 2018. On 17 December, United States Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan stated the United States supports Bosnia and Herzegovina's bid to join NATO, and dismissed Serb objections by adding that "Washington would react strongly to any threat to the stability of the country."The 1995 NATO bombing of Bosnia and Herzegovina targeted the Bosnian Serb Army and together with international pressure led to the resolution of the Bosnian War and the signing of the Dayton Agreement in 1995. Since then, NATO has led the Implementation Force and Stabilization Force, and other peacekeeping efforts in the country.

Accession of North Macedonia to NATO

North Macedonia is currently in the process of acceding to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a member state. In 1995, the country joined the Partnership for Peace. It then began taking part in various NATO missions, including the 1999 NATO bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. Two years later, NATO intervened in the 2001 Macedonian insurgency. At the 2008 Bucharest summit, Greece vetoed the country's invitation to join; however NATO nations agreed that the country would receive an invitation upon resolution of the Macedonia naming dispute. Following an agreement in June 2018 to rename the country the "Republic of North Macedonia", the permanent representatives to NATO of the member states signed a protocol on the accession of North Macedonia to NATO on 6 February 2019.

Alexander Lebed 1996 presidential campaign

The Alexander Lebed presidential campaign, 1996 was General Alexander Lebed's campaign in the 1996 Russian presidential election. Lebed ran as the nominee of the Congress of Russian Communities (KRO). Lebed ultimately placed a surprisingly strong third place in the first-round of the election, thus disqualifying him from the second-round. He endorsed Boris Yeltsin in the second-round.

Czech Republic–Russia relations

Czech Republic–Russia relations are the bilateral foreign relations between the Czech Republic and the Russian Federation. Unlike Russia, the Czech Republic is a member of Western institutions including the European Union, NATO and the OECD. Therefore, Russia–European Union relations and NATO–Russia relations are playing key role while the Czech Republic is a target of Russian attempts for espionage and propaganda. Following the Russian military intervention in Ukraine from 2014, the Czech Republic participates in economic sanctions against Russia. Ongoing tensions in the late 2010s have been described as the Cold War II.

The Czech Republic is also a favorite destination for Russian tourism as well as migration and brain drain from Russia due to high living standards, education and business opportunities in the Czech Republic.

Both countries are full members of the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe. The Czech Republic has an embassy in Moscow, and two consulates general (in Saint Petersburg and Yekaterinburg). The Russian Federation has an embassy in Prague, and two consulate generals (in Brno and Karlovy Vary).

Economics of defense

The economics of defense or defense economics is a subfield of economics, an application of the economic theory to the issues of military defense. It is a relatively new field. An early specialized work in the field is the RAND Corporation report The Economics of Defense in the Nuclear Age by Charles J. Hitch and Roland McKean ([4] 1960, also published as a book [5]).

It is an economic field that studies the management of government budget and its expenditure during mainly war times, but also during peace times, and its consequences on economic growth. It thus uses macroeconomic and microeconomic tools such as game theory, comparative statistics, growth theory and econometrics.

Enlargement

Enlargement may refer to:

the growth in membership of political entities:

Enlargement of the European Union is the political process for integrating countries into the European Union.

Enlargement of the African Union

Enlargement of the Arab League

Enlargement of the United Nations

Enlargement of NATO

Enlargement of Switzerland

Enlargement of the European Space Agency

in other contexts:

In mathematics, an enlargement is a uniform scaling, an example of a Homothetic transformation that increases distances, areas and volumes.

Enlargement (in fiction) is a theme in fiction, especially in science fiction and fantasy.

An enlargement is a photographic print that is larger than the negative it is printed from, through the use of an enlarger.

Penis enlargement.

Expansionism

In expansionism, governments and states expand their territory, power, wealth or influence through economic growth, soft power, or the military aggression of empire-building and colonialism.

Anarchism, reunification or pan-nationalism are sometimes used to justify and legitimize expansionism, but only when the explicit goal is to reconquer territories that have been lost, or to take over ancestral lands.

Georgia–NATO relations

Georgia and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) relations officially began in 1994 when Georgia joined the NATO-run Partnership for Peace. Georgia has moved quickly following the Rose Revolution in 2003 to seek closer ties and eventual membership with NATO. Georgia's powerful northern neighbor, Russia, has opposed the closer ties, including those expressed at the 2008 Bucharest summit where NATO members promised that Georgia would eventually join the organization. In the 7 December 2011 statement of the North Atlantic Council Georgia was designated as an "aspirant country".Complications in the relationship between NATO and Georgia includes presence of Russian forces in Georgian territory as a result of multiple recent conflicts, like the 2008 South Ossetia war, over the territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are home to large numbers of Russian nationals. A nonbinding referendum in 2008 resulted in 77% of voters supporting NATO accession.The current Georgia–NATO relations occurs in the framework of the Substantial NATO–Georgia Package (SNGP), a set of measures at the strategic, tactical and operational levels launched in 2014. The package includes a Defence Institution Building School, NATO–Georgia Joint Training and Evaluation Centre and Logistics Facility, the facilitation of multi-national and regional military drills, and other measures.

Individual Partnership Action Plan

Individual Partnership Action Plans (IPAP) are plans developed between NATO and different countries which outline the objectives and the communication framework for dialogue and cooperation between both parties. NATO launched the IPAPs initiative at the 2002 Prague Summit.

International membership of Ukraine

This article lists international organizations, of which Ukraine is a member or an observer.

Ireland–NATO relations

Ireland and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization have had a formal relationship since 1999, when Ireland joined as a member of the NATO Partnership for Peace (PfP) programme and signed up to NATO's Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council (EAPC). To date, Ireland has not sought to join as a full NATO member due to its traditional policy of military neutrality.

John C. Kornblum

John Christian Kornblum (born February 6, 1943, Detroit, Michigan) is an American diplomat and businessman. He entered the American Foreign Service in 1964. Over the next thirty five years, he served in Europe and at the State Department in Washington. Since 2001, he has established himself as an investment banker and international business consultant. He lives in Berlin.

Kornblum is one of the leading experts on transatlantic economic and political affairs and on the evolving role of the Atlantic community in a multipolar world [unsubstantiated statement]. He lectures and writes widely in both German and English and is known especially for his press and television commentaries on the implications of globalization on both sides of the Atlantic.

Montenegro–NATO relations

The accession of Montenegro to NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) (NATO) took place on 5 June 2017. In December 2009, Montenegro was granted a Membership Action Plan, the final step in an application for membership in the organization. A formal invitation was issued by the alliance on 2 December 2015, with accession negotiations concluded with the signature by the Foreign Ministers of an Accession Protocol on 19 May 2016. Montenegro officially joined NATO on 5 June 2017.

Petro Poroshenko

Petro Oleksiyovych Poroshenko (Ukrainian: Петро́ Олексі́йович Пороше́нко, pronounced [pɛˈtrɔ ɔlɛkˈsʲijɔwɪtʃ pɔrɔˈʃɛnkɔ]; born 26 September 1965) is the fifth President of Ukraine since 2014 and ending in 2019. He served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2009 to 2010, and as the Minister of Trade and Economic Development in 2012. From 2007 until 2012, Poroshenko headed the Council of Ukraine's National Bank.

Outside government, Poroshenko has been a prominent Ukrainian oligarch with a lucrative career in acquiring and building assets. His most recognized brands are Roshen, the large-scale confectionery company which has earned him the nickname of "Chocolate King", and the TV channel 5 kanal, an all-news national TV broadcaster. Due to the scale of his business holdings in the manufacturing, agriculture and financial sectors, his political influence that included several stints at government prior to his presidency, and ownership of an influential mass-media outlet, Poroshenko has long been considered one of the prominent Ukrainian oligarchs even though not the most influential among them.

He was elected president on 25 May 2014, capturing more than 54% of the vote in the first round, thereby winning outright and avoiding a run-off. As a candidate for a second term in 2019, he obtained 15.9% in the first round. He lost in the second round, gaining about 25% of the vote.

Ruediger Lentz

Rüdiger Lentz (born 1947) is the Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Germany based in Berlin.

Stephan Reimertz

Stephan Reimertz (born 4 March 1962) is a German poet, essayist, novelist and art historian. His poems, aphorisms, essays, novels and biographies circulate through the idea of an authentic, self-determined life in the face of modernity and ask the question if contemporary life can still be sounded historically and grasped philosophically.

Ukraine–NATO relations

Relations between Ukraine and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) started in 1994. Ukraine applied to join the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) in 2008. Plans for NATO membership were shelved by Ukraine following the 2010 presidential election in which Viktor Yanukovych, who preferred to keep the country non-aligned, was elected President. Amid the Euromaidan unrest, Yanukovych fled Ukraine in February 2014. The interim Yatsenyuk Government which came to power initially said, with reference to the country's non-aligned status, that it had no plans to join NATO. However, following the Russian military invasion in Ukraine and parliamentary elections in October 2014, the new government made joining NATO a priority.Russia's reaction to the 2008 plan of the then Ukrainian Government to join MAP was hostile. Nevertheless, the following year, NATO spokesman said that despite Russian opposition to NATO's eastward expansion the alliance's door remained open to those who met the criteria.According to polls conducted between 2005 and 2013, Ukrainian public support of NATO membership remained low. However, since Russia's invasion of eastern Ukraine and Crimea, public support for Ukrainian membership in NATO has risen greatly. Since June 2014, polls showed that about 50% of those asked supported Ukrainian NATO membership. Some 69 percent of Ukrainians want to join NATO, according to a June 2017 poll by the Democratic Initiatives Foundation, compared to 28 percent support in 2012 when Yanukovich was in power.

Warren Christopher

Warren Minor Christopher (October 27, 1925 – March 18, 2011) was an American lawyer, diplomat, and politician. During Bill Clinton's first term as president, Christopher served as the 63rd Secretary of State.

Born in Scranton, North Dakota, Christopher clerked for Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas after graduating from Stanford Law School. During World War II, he served in the Pacific Theater as a member of the United States Naval Reserve. He became a partner in the firm of O'Melveny & Myers and served as Deputy Attorney General from 1967 to 1969 under President Lyndon B. Johnson. He served as Deputy Secretary of State under President Jimmy Carter, holding that position from 1977 to 1981. In 1991, he chaired the Christopher Commission, which investigated the Los Angeles Police Department in the wake of the Rodney King incident.

During the 1992 presidential election, Christopher headed Bill Clinton's search for a running mate, and Clinton chose Senator Al Gore. After Clinton won the 1992 election, Christopher led the Clinton administration's transition process, and he took office as Secretary of State in 1993. As Secretary of State, Christopher sought to expand NATO, broker peace in the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, and pressure China regarding its human rights practices. He also helped negotiate the Dayton Agreement, which ended the Bosnian War. He left office in 1997, and was succeeded by Madeleine Albright.

Christopher oversaw the Gore campaign's Florida recount effort in the aftermath of the disputed 2000 presidential election. At the time of his death in 2011, he was a Senior Partner at O'Melveny & Myers in the firm's Century City, California, office. He also served as a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles.

William Wallace, Baron Wallace of Saltaire

William John Lawrence Wallace, Baron Wallace of Saltaire, PC (born 12 March 1941 in Leicester), is a British academic, writer, Liberal Democrat politician and was a Lord in Waiting from 2010 to 2015.

Membership Action Plan
Intensified Dialogue
Individual Partnership Action Plan
Other Partnership for Peace

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