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Explainer: Why does Ukraine want to join NATO? Why is Russia protesting?

Russia has deployed more than a million troops along the Ukrainian border, while the US and NATO have also increased their forces in Eastern Europe. The US has also asked Britain and allies of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) to deploy thousands of troops to Eastern Europe.

The major reason behind the increased aggression on Ukraine by Russia is its desire to join NATO. Western countries, including the US, say that Russia cannot determine whether Ukraine does not join NATO. Russia has put a condition that it will back down if NATO refuses to include Ukraine in the alliance, but the US has already rejected its demand.

What is NATO?

According to The Conversation’s report, the US, Canada, France, Britain and eight other European countries formed a military alliance in 1949. This military alliance is called NATO. So far 30 countries have joined this organization.

NATO works closely with the United Nations. There are some things in common between NATO and the United Nations. Both of these are international organizations, which provide financial help to the member countries. Both of them have political influence from America and Western powers. But the nature of both the organizations is different. The task of NATO is to fight war with the help of military allies when necessary, while the United Nations works to avoid war through peace, defence, political dialogue and other means.

Why does Ukraine want to join NATO?

Ukraine has been a NATO partner for a long time. It has been associated with NATO as a partner since 1992. Ukraine has been given a forum by NATO to discuss security concerns since the establishment of the Ukraine-NATO Commission in 1997. This strengthened NATO-Ukraine relations without a formal membership agreement.

Can Ukraine become a member of NATO?

Alastair Kocho-Williams, a professor of history at Clarkson University, says Ukraine is close to the support of NATO countries, but Ukraine is unlikely to join NATO any time soon.

First, joining any new country in NATO requires the consent of all NATO members. Countries seeking NATO membership have to follow a membership action plan. For this, countries have to give detailed information about their security and political policies. This process can take up to 20 years to complete.

Ukraine applied for a NATO membership action plan in 2008. It was stopped in 2010 during the tenure of Putin’s supporter and former Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich. Amidst rising tensions with Russia, Ukraine has again carried forward its plan to join NATO with new energy.

If Ukraine gains NATO membership, coalition members will commit to military action against Russia if there is a threat of conflict between it and Russia.

What are the benefits of Ukraine becoming a NATO member?

Becoming a member of NATO would increase military support for Ukraine at the international level, which could deter Russia’s aggression.

Although it has supported non-member countries such as Afghanistan during humanitarian emergencies, NATO is not committed to deploying troops to any non-member country. NATO has clear rules for supporting non-member countries.

NATO membership will also increase the chances of Ukraine joining the European Union. Ukraine has long wanted to join the European Union. This will bring Ukraine closer to America and Russia’s influence there will also be reduced. But because Russia still considers its dominance over Ukraine, a former Soviet Union country, in such a situation, Ukraine’s membership of NATO could increase tension in the region. Russia has said that it will take the expansion of the NATO alliance in Ukraine as a threat.

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