EXPLAINED: The role of NATO in the Russia-Ukraine conflict
- Hours after Vladimir Putin ordered military operation, officials of
NATOcalled for an emergency session on Thursday to discuss the ongoing situation.
- “ We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement.
- To understand why NATO is so concerned about the
Russia-Ukraine conflict, we have to go back in time.
AdvertisementEven after denying the plans of invading Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin has announced a military operation against Ukraine today, February 24.
Hours after Vladimir Putin ordered military operation, officials of NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) called for an emergency session on Thursday to discuss the ongoing situation.
“This is a grave breach of international law, and a serious threat to Euro-Atlantic security. I call on Russia to cease its military action immediately and respect Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. NATO Allies will meet to address the consequences of Russia’s aggressive actions. We stand with the people of Ukraine at this terrible time. NATO will do all it takes to protect and defend all Allies,” said NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg in a statement.
So, why is NATO so concerned about the Russia-Ukraine conflict? To understand that, we have to go back in time.
What is NATO?
NATO, formed in 1949, is a military alliance, which was made up by the United States, Canada, France and eight other European countries.
As of now, 30 countries are part of the NATO alliance — Albania (2009), Greece (1952), Norway (1949), Belgium (1949), Hungary (1999), Poland (1999), Bulgaria (2004), Iceland (1949), Portugal (1949), Canada (1949), Italy (1949), Romania (2004), Croatia (2009), Latvia (2004), Slovakia (2004), CZech Republic (1999), Lithuania (2004), Slovenia (2004), Denmark (1949), Luxembourg (1949), Spain (1982), Estonia (2004), Montenegro (2017), Turkey (1952), France (1949), Netherlands (1949), United Kingdom (1949), Germany (1955), North Macedonia (2020) and United States (1949).
The main purpose behind the formation of NATO was to make a ‘collective defence. According to its Article 5, if a NATO member attacks another member, then it will be considered an attack on all members.’
Is Ukraine a member of NATO?
Now, most of us are confused whether Ukraine is a part of NATO or not. Technically, Ukraine is not a member of NATO.
Ukraine’s former president Leonid Kuchma expressed his interest in becoming a member of NATO in 2002. The main agenda behind this was to increase its military backup.
The membership would also make Ukraine closer towards Europe and build a warmer relationship with the United States.
AdvertisementNATO membership is open for any European country who can manage to contribute to the security of the North Atlantic region.
What does Russia want from NATO?
Russia, on the other hand, is considering this – Ukraine joining NATO and the alliance expansion – as a direct threat. Russia views NATO as an alliance which can put its security in danger as it directly makes the United States as a strong backup for all the European countries which are part of NATO.
NATO has been expanding its Eastern European presence by adding countries like Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. However, Russia reportedly wants NATO to stop expanding further in the eastern part of Europe. It also wants, as per reports, a guarantee that Ukraine will not become a member of NATO in the future.
This is where India stands in the Russia-Ukraine conflict
Taiwan seems jittery amidst the Russia-Ukraine conflict—Here’s why
Russia’s military vs Ukraine’s military in numbers
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