Imrael wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 21, 2023 8:05 am
Brightonian wrote: ↑
Fri Apr 21, 2023 7:32 am
Stoltenberg has said all Nato allies have now agreed that Ukraine should become a Nato member. No indication of timescales though.
I hope I'm being over-cynical, but as I understand it you cant join NATO when already in a conflict? Will this turn into a pressure to accept a less-than-great peace in exchange for sped up NATO accession.
Yes and no.
The enlargement criteria were agreed in the 1990s and they included a requirement that aspirant members needed to settle border disputes and internal conflicts. These principles were codified into a series of diplomatic processes. This made sense then because there were several actual and potential conflicts in the newly post-Soviet states and the carrot of NATO membership encouraged them to resolve matters peacefully.
Politically, the existing NATO members didn't want to get drawn into armed conflicts.
But none of this is written into the North Atlantic Treaty. NATO has also been able to cope with members that had tense border disputes (eg Greece and Turkey) or intense civil wars within their territory (eg Turkey).
So if there was enough political support it wouldn't too difficult to change the accession process for Ukraine. However, I doubt that the political support for Ukraine joining before a resolution or at least stabilization exists at present at least. Leaving aside European peaceniks, Turkey has been able to block Sweden joining and I expect that it would do similar to Ukraine while the fighting is ongoing, and if not them there may be problems from Hungary, Bulgaria and Greece.
I expect that NATO membership may be offered as part of a peace agreement (either formally or informally). Ukraine would reasonably ask for guarantees that it wouldn't be invaded again and joining NATO would be the best way of doing that.
Though its worth noting that membership wouldn't mean that the alliance would automatically declare war after any Russian attack. Doing so would be a political decision.