Ukraine and NATO – What steps have been taken towards rapprochement over the past year?

Ukraine and NATO – What steps have been taken towards rapprochement over the past year?

Back at the 2008 summit, the NATO leadership announced by a collegial decision the door is open for Ukraine. However, joining requires reforms and bringing Ukrainian legislation and military forces into line with the alliance’s standards. Ukraine has been moving towards its goal since then. The process has accelerated significantly, and a clear roadmap and action plan has emerged since 2014.

How has cooperation between Ukraine and NATO changed in 2021?

Ukraine has taken a step towards the alliance over the past year. Our country received the status of a partner with expanded NATO capabilities, taking into account Ukraine’s proposals to develop a strategic vision for the Alliance until 2030. All this provides a significant impetus for future cooperation, as many military exercises are already planned for 2021 with various NATO countries.

What does this strategic partnership mean? Ordinary people may think this does not mean anything and does not change their lives in any way. However, thanks to these steps towards the Western civilized world, our country is increasingly beginning to live according to Euro-Atlantic and European standards and values.

What does the strengthening of cooperation with the EU and NATO give us?

First, everyone knows about the visa-free regime. It has allowed millions of Ukrainians to see Europe freely and cheaply and has expanded travel opportunities. The procedure for obtaining an “Industrial visa” has been launched this year. It will be equally profitable for the Ukrainian manufacturer to send its products to Chernihiv and Munich. This will have a significant economic impact on the country as the business environment improves. This means the creation of new jobs and new businesses.

It is planned to sign the «Open Skies» with the EU, which for the Ukrainian aircraft will mean it will be in the same “legal space” in Ukraine or the Czech Republic . This means the crew does not need to go through additional bureaucratic procedures, and this will make travel more accessible. This guarantees the expansion of the number of routes between Ukraine and Europe.

The NATO regularly conducts military exercises with Ukraine. It helps improve the training of fighters on the front lines. They share intelligence information with us. It also affects the quality of Ukraine’s security.

What will be the “homework” for Ukraine in 2021?

It is important to understand the rapprochement with the European Union and the implementation of an association plan with the EU also brings Ukraine closer to NATO, and vice versa. The North Atlantic Alliance is not just a military association, it is a stable economy, an efficient state apparatus and the absence of corruption.

For Ukraine, the main requirements for joining the EU and NATO are judicial reform, reform of law enforcement agencies and the normalization of the work of anti-corruption agencies. The newly formed institutions of NACB, SACP and the Anti-Corruption Court are able to cleanse the government of corruption and bring Ukraine closer to the civilized world.