NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg on Sunday declined to commit to whether Ukraine’s application to join the alliance will be fast-tracked, saying its bid to join “needs to be taken by consensus.”
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky announced last week that his country will file an expedited application to join NATO.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” moderator Chuck Todd asked the NATO chief whether the alliance would fast-track Ukraine’s application. about the alliance’s open-door policy to allow countries to join the alliance.
“NATO has an open-door policy and every nation, including of course also Ukraine, has the right to choose its own path, including what kind of security arrangements it wants to be a part of,” Stoltenberg told Todd. “At the same time, any decision on membership has to be taken by consensus. All thirty allies have to agree to make such a decision.”
There is really no getting around the entry rules.
NATO is comprised of 30 countries, each of whom have jumped through the hoops and met the requirements for entry. The alliance governs itself by consensus. The very rules for its operation were developed… by consensus, then agreed to… by consensus. If the want to change the rules, it must be done so… by consensus. That includes shortcuts to membership, or development of some yet to be named associate membership, which is recognized by all member states.
YES, bringing Ukraine into NATO would certainly be a big win for Ukraine, but it would also result in the high likelihood that ALL member states would be dragged into a kinetic war, and quickly. You know, because of that whole “collective defense” thing that is at the very heart of the NATO alliance in the first place.
As this is a formal international treaty between the applicant nation and 30 existing member states, treaty documents must be executed by each individual government. In the U.S., while the President or his representatives can negotiate treaties, they must be ratified by the Senate for the treaty obligations (such as… We commit to sending our sons and daughters to defend your country if you are attacked…) to become law.