In an interview with Dagbladet, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba asked Norway to support Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
He says a “strong Ukraine” is in the interests of Norway and the West, and warns that further Russian involvement in Ukraine could have “serious consequences” for Norway.
– If Russia decides to escalate its aggression against Ukraine, the consequences could be very serious for Norway and for the entire Euro-Atlantic cooperation, says Foreign Minister Koleba Ldagbladet.
Opening of the political platform
Kuleba can be interviewed by Dagbladet regarding the installation of the so-called Crimean platform. Representatives from more than 40 countries, including Norway, met each other for a summit in the Ukrainian capital of Kiev on Monday last week.
There, they agreed to work together for a peaceful end to the Russian occupation of Crimea, which Russia annexed in 2014.
In an interview with Dagbladet, Foreign Minister Kuleba praised Norway for the support Ukraine has received from Norway, but he also does not hide the fact that the country wants more support, whether material, financial or non-profit.
Around the same time that Russia annexed Crimea, war broke out in the Donbass region of eastern Ukraine. Pro-Russian separatists are fighting the Ukrainian authorities in a war in March last year that killed more than 13,000 people, According to the United Nations.
Norway prayer in Ukraine
The West and Ukraine accuse Russia of backing the separatists. When the war broke out in the Donbass, NATO says there are more than 1,000 Russian soldiers in Ukraine. In 2015 he admitted Russian President Vladimir Putin That intelligence officers of the Russian army worked inside Ukraine.
“Russia does not intend to end its war against Ukraine until they understand the futility and high cost associated with their efforts to subjugate Ukraine,” Kuleba told Dagbladet.
However, Kuleba is not only referring to the war in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea when he argues why Norway should support Ukraine’s membership in NATO.
There is reason to expect a deterioration of the security situation in Europe, a more aggressive Russian policy in the Baltic states, more dangerous Russian provocations in the North, and an increase in Russian militarization in the Arctic. For these reasons, we firmly believe that Norway has an interest in Ukraine’s resilience, and in particular an interest in supporting Ukraine’s membership in NATO, says Kuleba.
The last time there was a war
Basically, NATO is open to all European countries or countries as long as they meet a number of requirements. This includes, among other things, that the country has a democratic system of government and the ability to contribute to the defense alliance.
Today, experts are wondering whether Ukraine meets the specified requirements, and they note, among other things, unresolved border disputes and the Ukrainian economy, which is a relatively small economy and there is no prospect of significant growth in the near future.
If Ukraine does meet these requirements however, NATO member states must vote unanimously for the inclusion of a new member state.
The biggest obstacle to Ukraine’s NATO membership will be the real reason Ukraine wants to join the defense alliance: Russia.
This is the third time that NATO’s “open door” approach to countries that Russia does not want to be part of the defense alliance has been tested, according to Ever B. Neumann, a Russian expert and director of the Fridtjof Nansen Institute.
– For the first time, Russia was weak, and NATO took over a number of things earlier Warsaw LawLand, says Newman.
The second time there was a war.
Russia’s harsh response
Filled with arrogance and an exaggerated belief that the United States and NATO would support him, then-Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili launched a military offensive against him. The breakaway republic of South Ossetia I 2008.
The goal was to restore South Ossetia, which had declared independence from Georgia after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. A war ensued between South Ossetia and Georgia, which was eventually joined by Russian forces as peacekeepers.
When Russian peacekeepers came under Georgian attack, Russia responded. Not only did they drive the Georgian army out of South Ossetia, but they crushed it and drove it to the capital, Tbilisi.
It only took five days in Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
In the years before the attack, Georgia under Saakashvili had been embraced by then-US President George W. Bush, who was trying to push Georgia’s membership into NATO.
Germany and France were skeptical, and delayed the operation.
However, the US president’s hug was so warm, and the praise for Georgia’s new democracy was so great, that many analysts believe Saakashvili led him to believe that Bush would come to his rescue.
Neither Bush nor the United States nor NATO did. After all, Georgia was not a member of the alliance.
reassurance or deterrence
The dilemma of NATO member states is the same for Ukraine today, as it was with Georgia then, notes the Russian expert Neumann.
The goal of defensive alliances is to increase security for the participants. If the alliance does something that does not increase security, but rather decreases security, it is working against its goal. So NATO members sit there and think about the pros and cons. Given Russia’s increasingly aggressive policies, which include acts of war, one has a choice: calm by not addressing Georgia and Ukraine, or deterrence by doing so, Neumann said.
If one chooses to include, say, Ukraine in NATO, member states must ensure that they can “give their share” and that NATO member states can ensure Ukraine’s security, according to Neumann.
– Given the situation in northern Georgia and in eastern Ukraine, there is uncertainty about these two conditions. This is why Norway and other NATO countries say as little as possible about this, Neumann says.
Tor Bokful, an expert on Russia and Ukraine, and a researcher at the Norwegian Defense Research Establishment (FFI), agrees with Neumann’s analysis.
– Crimean platform seeks to reunite Crimea with Ukraine. Isn’t this a running race?
– Yes, the race has been done so far, but I see a point in what Ukraine is doing: they keep the question alive, and if no one talks about it, at least the feeling will be that the race is done. Bokful answers that Russia has a goal that this question will be executed, and all these initiatives prevent it.
UD: – values of Ukraine
When Dagbladet asked her if Norway would support Ukraine’s membership in NATO, the Foreign Ministry answered most of the time, but not yes or no.
Norway appreciates Ukraine’s significant contribution to Euro-Atlantic security. Ukraine is a close partner of NATO and has contributed to many NATO-led operations. Ukraine has access to expanded defense cooperation with NATO (EOP) and cooperation in reform (ANP), in addition to the comprehensive support package, Foreign Minister Audun Halvorsen (H) says in a statement to Dagbladet.
He notes that Norway and NATO are sticking to their decision made at the summit in 2008, when NATO member states agreed to support a future Ukrainian NATO membership.
– This is a matter that requires the unanimity of the coalition. Halvorsen says we encourage Kiev to continue its long-term reform work.
The Minister of Foreign Affairs was Norway’s envoy to the summit in Ukraine on Monday last week.
Norway condemns the continued illegal Russian occupation of Crimea. The militarization of the peninsula and the gross violations of human rights are of grave concern. So it’s only natural that Norway will participate in the Crimean platform, to help keep Crimea high on the international agenda, Halvorsen says.
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