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Ukraine And European Security - International Mechanisms
As Non-Military Options For National Security Of Ukraine.
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Chapter 4. "Evolutionary" Approach" - Ukraine And European International Establishments.
Section 4. Ukraine and NATO.
4.1 Ukraine and the Expansion of NATO
Today's security discussion in the world is largely governed by the question of eastward NATO enlargement and as one can assert, after announcement of the decision on princile to enlarge NATO in early December 1994, European community became considerably delicate to every separate statement of the CEE states' leaders on this issue.
Sometimes, such fragile perception has lead Western politicians and analysts to an improper understanding of the positions of CEE countries to the process of the Alliance development. Such tendency was showed for instance, in situation, when several statements of Ukrainian leaders were understood, as Kiev opposes the idea of NATO Eastwards enlargemnent.(281)
Whereas there is no one-sided answer to such a question for leadership of a country like Ukraine, nonetheless, Ukraine's authorities have never been opposed the notion of NATO expansion, they rather stressed a disagreement with partial enlargement, as it would make Ukraine "gray buffer zone" between an expanded NATO and Russia, or CIS Tashkent Security Pact.(282)
Such indistinctness in several official declarations have been foremost an outstandable counting on possible responces of Russian political leadership. For instance, when President Kuchma declared during his visit to the Baltic States in May 1995, that NATO extension is unavoidable and implied that Ukraine in general is not against it,(283) it has immediately raised concerns and fears in Moscow, that Ukraine may seek to join NATO in the future, and thus, to isolate Russia strategically from Europe.(284)
On the other hand, it was indeed, the link of Ukraine with Russia that has always determined the NATO's policy to Ukraine. In time of his visit to Ukraine Alliance's Executive Secretary L.Verbruggen explained his vision of NATO-Ukraine links as "when it comes to Ukraine, we always keep in mind its relations with Russia".(285) One should remember that by that time (March, 1994) Russia had already expressed its critical objections to the possible membership of East-Central European countries in the Alliance. Verbruggen also went on to say, that present circumstances seem, that the CSCE would serve Ukraine's interests better than NATO.(286)
Besides counting on Russia's response in both Kiev and Brussels, an indeterminativeness of Ukraine's position has also been prerequisited by previously-mentioned domestic circumstances and vastly different opinions about Ukraine's place in Europe among leadership. Some parliamentarians still view the protection of country's security within the CIS security structure, because as they argue, that "NATO is not already a block, but Tashkent Treaty is. ...That is why [Ukraine] can not enter NATO, not because of its neutral status".(287)
In general, through the first year of Kuchma's presidency, Kiev did not alter a position to a question of expanded NATO, it rather modified approach to facilitate this process in Ukraine's favour and where its security would not be decreased.
While previously Kiev objected to any kind of a special status for Russia in its relations with NATO, in 1995 Ukraine displayed support for the entitlement of Russia by "special relationship" with the Alliance through more active consolidation by Moscow in the PFP. Algthough, one could naturally found this approach as somewhat 'comparable' to the Russian one, Kiev has always objected to a possibility of reborn of "great" powers through "specialization" of Russia-NATO relations. At the same time Ukraine has desperartely waited on the chance to obtain "special" status in cooperation with the Alliance for itself.(288)
After several mounth of uncertainty over Ukraine's stance on the issue of expanded NATO during the first half of 1995, Ukrainian President conclusively clarified an essence of country's attitudes to Alliance expansion, endorsed in the official statement of the Predidents of Ukraine and Latvia.(289)
Hence, conceding the right of other CEE countries to become NATO members, Kiev supports an "evolutionary" way of the enlargement, which means that Ukraine's eventual joining of the Alliance is not excluded as a future option in security policy, but currently its security interests should be considered.