Ukraine’s NATO membership unrealistic and country should focus on resolving internal issues, says French ambassador in Kiev
Kiev should concentrate on its internal reform process and forget to join NATO in the near future, which is not “realistic” because there is no consensus among the current members of the transatlantic alliance.
This is according to Etienne de Poncins, the French ambassador to Ukraine. De Poncins has been in his post since 2019. Speaking to the Ukrainian news site TCN, the ambassador noted that Kiev must follow the roadmap given to it by NATO if it wishes to be officially listed on a Membership Action Plan (MAP).
“We prefer and insist on the implementation of what was decided last year, in particular within the framework of the extended partnership between NATO and Ukraine”, he explained.
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Last year Ukraine joined NATO’s Enhanced Opportunities Partner Interoperability Program.
“At the moment there is no consensus among the members to grant the MAP to Ukraine”, he explained. âIt’s not a question of France or other countries. It’s just a matter of consensus.
As it stands, only one country – Bosnia and Herzegovina – has membership action plan status. Ukraine has long wanted to join the Bosnians, having applied for the first time in 2008.
When asked if France would support Ukraine receiving the MAP if Germany decides to support Kiev, the ambassador declined to be drawn, saying that âIt doesn’t work that way in an alliance or an international organization. “
“At this point, the consensus, as I said, is to implement what exists”, He continued. âLet’s do our homework and don’t open up a perspective that’s not yet realistic.
Joining NATO was a stated goal of President Volodymyr Zelensky when he was elected leader in 2019, and he has repeatedly begged for permission to join the alliance. However, the group does not accept states with unresolved territorial issues – a huge stumbling block for Kiev.
The Ukrainian government also wants to join the European Union – another Zelensky goal. In 2016, Jean-Claude Juncker, then President of the European Commission, said it would take Ukraine around 20 to 25 years to join the EU and NATO.
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