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Polish Senate calls for Ukraine’s rapid accession to NATO through extraordinary procedure

Voting in the Polish Senate. Photo: PAP/Leszek Szymański

“Ukraine today has the strongest army on the continent with extraordinary combat experience,” says the resolution calling to admit Ukraine by an extraordinary procedure, like Finland and Sweden

Poland’s Senate has unanimously passed a resolution in favor of Ukraine’s membership in NATO, Polskie Radio reports. The resolution highlights the security guarantees, the “extraordinary procedure” of NATO accession, the Vilnius summit, and the support for Ukraine.

“After a year of horrific war, we know that Ukraine, resisting Russia, is defending Europe and is a key link protecting the continent from aggression from the East,” the resolution states. It acknowledges Ukraine’s significant military strength, which has been honed through extensive combat experience.

The resolution states, “Ukraine today has the strongest army on the continent with extraordinary combat experience,” that the Ukrainian Army is rapidly rearming with NATO technology and applying military operational art and tactics that have been developed over decades among Western allies.

The document highlights the necessity for “real support” for Ukrainian defenders, which can be achieved through closer political and military cooperation with NATO member states.

The resolution emphasizes the Vilnius Alliance summit as a “significant stage in preparing Ukraine for full membership.” The Polish Senate believes that Ukraine’s accession to the Alliance should be a “political decision,” as was the case with Finland and Sweden, and this should result from a strategic analysis of “challenges and threats beyond the Alliance’s eastern border.”

The resolution urges NATO to apply the same “extraordinary procedures” to Ukraine that were used for Finland and Sweden’s accession to the Alliance. “Although Sweden remains outside the Alliance structures, allies have decided to protect it. The Senate of the Republic of Poland calls on NATO member countries to apply a similar extraordinary procedure to Ukraine,” the document reads.

The Senate also backed the demands of countries bordering Russia for “strong security guarantees for Ukraine” and demonstrating Ukraine’s path to NATO membership. On 20 April 2023, NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg stated that the Alliance is preparing to respond to Ukraine regarding membership at the Vilnius summit.

Ukraine’s bid for NATO membership

Ukraine’s Defense Minister has been vocal about the need for NATO to provide a clear membership algorithm for Ukraine by the end of 2023.

On 5 May, Estonian Foreign Minister Margus Tsahkna met with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels to discuss Ukraine’s accession. The meeting further underscores Estonia’s role in advocating for Ukraine’s inclusion in NATO. On 10 May 2023, 95 Estonian deputies signed a statement supporting Ukraine’s NATO membership. The statement was submitted to Estonia’s national broadcasting corporation, ERR, underlining Estonia’s active role in backing Ukraine’s NATO aspirations.

Furthermore, other European nations like the Netherlands and Belgium have also shown their support for Ukraine. On 4 May 2023, these two countries, along with Ukraine, agreed on joint actions concerning security and the advancement of Ukraine’s NATO membership, representing a significant step towards bolstering Ukraine’s NATO aspirations.

However, Ukraine’s aspirations for a more definitive pathway to NATO membership are at risk due to reluctance from countries like the US and Germany to assume specific obligations, as reported by RND, citing the German Press Agency (DPA). The US and Germany have recently expressed behind closed doors their unwillingness “to make any commitments for the time being that go substantially beyond a vague NATO declaration from 2008,” the DPA revealed.

This 2008 declaration saw heads of state and government agreeing that Ukraine and Georgia should join NATO, but did not establish a particular timeline. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has recently urged NATO to pave the way for Ukraine’s membership at the July summit. Zelenskyy argued that much of the population in Ukraine, Europe, and within NATO itself would fail to comprehend if Kyiv did not receive the anticipated invitation at the Lithuania summit.

Ukraine’s NATO dreams hang in the balance as US and Germany hesitate – DPA

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