Ukrainians ask to personally join NATO, offer private land for NATO base

NATO's response to Russia

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg during a meeting of the Ukraine-NATO commission on 31 October 2019. Credit: NATO Representation to Ukraine  

Ukraine

Ukrainian landowners and even a cafe are taking the country’s NATO membership drive to a new level: they are writing NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, offering private land to host NATO bases and appealing for the Alliance to accept them as private members.

Amid the growing scare of a Russian invasion and Russian demands that NATO not expand eastward, Ukrainians are asking to join NATO in a personal capacity and offering to donate their private land parcels for the establishment of a NATO base. Two such letters were sent by residents of south-eastern Ukraine, which is known to be more NATO-sceptic than the rest of the country.

One Ukrainian who offered his land plot to NATO is Odesa entrepreneur Demian Hamul. He posted a screenshot of a letter he claims he sent to Nato Secretary Jens Stoltenberg on his Facebook page, offering to give up his land plot in Kirovohradska Oblast (central Ukraine) for a NATO base.

Ukraine NATO base

The appeal of Demian Hamula

“It so happened that I own more than 5 hectares of land in the central part of Ukraine, which I inherited. Due to the open land market, I want to transfer the above-mentioned area of the NATO Allied Air Command for free, for life. The destination is well suited to become the Alliance’s military base. The statement was addressed to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg. Ukraine will win. P.S. Allied troops are better than occupiers!”

Another Ukrainian who wants a NATO base on his land is Oleh Marchenko from Kharkiv Oblast. TSN reported.

In an appeal also addressed to Jens Stoltenberg, Marchenko announces his desire to join the Alliance in a personal capacity and offers to give up his own land for a NATO base.

“I, Marchenko Oleh Viktorovych, a Ukrainian citizen, want to join NATO and transfer for free eternal use a land plot that I own of 8.13 ha in the Kharkiv Oblast, village [blurred out], to house a NATO base.”

Ukraine NATO base

The appeal of Oleh Marchenko

In what may be a less appealing proposal for NATO, the Lviv cafe “Chotyry Chebureky. Prosecco bar” has also joined the trend and penned a letter to Jens Stoltenberg, asking to be accepted to NATO as a “separate unit.”

Their statement, posted on their Facebook page, states:

“Because the entire country of Ukraine, based on various reasons, does not receive a NATO Membership Action Plan, the restaurant “Four Chebureky. Prosecco Bar” asks to be accepted to NATO as a separate unit. We are ready to give a part of our facilities at vul. Staroyevreiska 16 and Heroyiv UPA 40 in the city of Lviv to host the army and equipment of the Alliance.”

NATO base in Ukraine

Appeal of Chotyry Chebureky. Prosecco bar

According to a recent poll, 54% of Ukrainians were in favor of the country joining NATO.

58% Ukrainians support joining EU, 54% in favor of NATO, IRI Ukraine poll shows

Ukraine currently does not have any NATO bases on its territory, but it cooperates with the Alliance via joint military drills with separate members. Also, NATO has adopted a Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine which has given Ukraine the opportunity to receive assistance in the implementation of about 40 targeted measures in key areas of national security.

Four ways NATO can help Ukraine resist Russian aggression

Amid the growing Russian threat, calls have been made to expand Ukraine’s cooperation with NATO. One of the latest ones was issued by Republicans in the US House, who proposed designating Ukraine a “NATO Plus” country. Yet other NATO countries, particularly, Germany, continue to block Ukraine’s arms purchases from the Alliance.

Recently, a series of talks between the West and Russia centered around Russia’s demand that NATO never accept Ukraine and withdraw from Eastern Europe have ended in Russia’s diplomatic failure that has experts worried whether a military escalation might be the next step.

NATO said “no.” Outcomes of Russia talks with the West

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