Analyzing Ukraine's prospects for NATO membership
Young, Derek W.
Yost, David S.
Moran, Daniel J.
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Ukraine has a resume of achievements in its relations with NATO since 1991. However, at the 2008 Bucharest Summit, the NATO Allies chose not to offer Ukraine a Membership Action Plan. This thesis examines Ukraine's prospects for NATO membership, and investigates the hypothesis that Ukraine's membership aspirations are most affected by two sets of independent variables -- internal and external. The two key internal variables that affect the prospects for Ukraine's accession to NATO are public opinion and domestic politics. The majority of Ukrainian society opposes Ukraine becoming a member of NATO, while political discord within the Ukrainian government may also limit the likelihood of Ukraine's accession to NATO. The two main external variables affecting Ukraine's prospects for NATO membership are Russia and NATO itself. Russia adamantly opposes NATO membership for Ukraine, and may apply economic, social or political pressure against Ukraine if its government continues to pursue membership against Russian wishes. Regarding NATO, it appears that some Allies do not believe Ukraine is ready for membership, while others do not wish to provoke negative Russian reactions.
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