On the eve of the Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State

03/30/2009 | Lesia Szubelak [Ukrainian World Congress
March 30, 2009


On the eve of the Summit Meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government in Baden-Baden and Kehl, Germany, and in Strasbourg, France, on April 3 and 4, 2009, the world has been reminded once again that it is essential for global stability that Ukraine be granted NATO membership.

On March 17, 2009, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced a US$140 billion comprehensive military rearmament plan. According to the Russian President, this plan will seek to increase the combat readiness of [Russias] forces, first of all our strategic nuclear forces.

President Medvedevs announcement was in stark contrast to the one made by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov just ten days earlier, on March 7, 2009, at the 65-nation UN Conference on Disarmament in Geneva that: The right moment has come today, for the first time after the end of the Cold War, for making real progress in resuming the global disarmament process on a broad agenda.

These mixed signals, coupled with Russias continuous rhetoric regarding such issues as the Black Sea Fleet and NATO expansion, its gas cutoffs, and military aggression against Georgia present a threat to regional and global stability.

By contrast, only three years after gaining its independence, on January 14, 1994, Ukraine voluntarily relinquished the worlds third largest stockpile of nuclear weapons by signing the US-Russia-Ukraine Trilateral Statement that provided for the transfer of all nuclear weapons on the territory of Ukraine to Russia for dismantlement. Eleven months later, on December 5, 1994, Ukraine signed the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons as a non-nuclear-weapon state. Ukraine has also participated in NATO peacekeeping operations.

On April 3, 2008, the Heads of State and Government participating in the Bucharest NATO Summit Meeting issued the Bucharest Summit Declaration stating:

NATO welcomes Ukraines and Georgias Euro-Atlantic aspirations for membership in NATO. We agreed today that these countries will become members of NATO. Both nations have made valuable contributions to Alliance operations. We welcome the democratic reforms in Ukraine and Georgia and look forward to free and fair parliamentary elections in Georgia in May. MAP is the next step for Ukraine and Georgia on their direct way to membership. Today we make clear that we support these countries applications for MAP.

Therefore, the Ukrainian World Congress calls upon the Heads of State and Government to unite and approve Ukraines application for a Membership Action Plan (MAP) at the upcoming April 2009 NATO Summit Meeting. This will send a clear signal to the world community that NATO rejects the misguided calls for Ukraines MAP application to be vetted by Russia, which would be tantamount to reverting to the era of the Soviet sphere of influence. The approval of Ukraines MAP application would also constitute unambiguous and concrete action toward peace and stability in the long term in this region.

Eugene Czolij, President
Stefan Romaniw, Secretary

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