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Why Ukraine's New Law on NATO Accession is Not Really About NATO

© Sputnik / Maksim Blinov /  / Go to the mediabankBoxes containing signatures of Ukrainian people in support of the referendum on Ukraine's accession to the NATO system of collective security, outside the President's Administration building.
Boxes containing signatures of Ukrainian people in support of the referendum on Ukraine's accession to the NATO system of collective security, outside the President's Administration building. - Sputnik International
Ukrainian President Poroshenko has signed a bill into law which sets membership of the alliance as one the country’s priorities. Russian political analyst Alexander Asafov however explained to Sputnik Radio that the law pursues completely different purposes.

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"I have signed the Law of Ukraine 'On Amendments to Certain Laws of Ukraine Regarding the Foreign Policy of Ukraine,' which determines membership of the Alliance as one of the priorities of the national interests of the state," the President said on his Facebook page.

"Active work to reform the security and defense sectors is ahead, which will allow us to achieve membership criteria," the post reads.

The news was confirmed by the presidential press service. From now on, Ukraine will step up its reforms aimed at compliance with NATO standards, it said in a statement.

"The document defines integration with the Euro-Atlantic space for the purpose of membership in the North Atlantic Alliance as a priority national interest of Ukraine," the statement said.

On June 8, the bill gained support of the Verkhovna Rada, the country’s unicameral parliament, where it was backed by 276 lawmakers of the 450-seat legislature.

In December 2014, the Rada voted to cancel Ukraine's non-aligned status and adopted a new military doctrine, which put the former Soviet republic on a course towards NATO membership. Kiev has until 2020 to ensure its armed forces’ fully meet NATO’s military standards.

Poroshenko said a referendum on NATO membership would be held by 2020.

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NATO’s then Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen had earlier warned that Ukraine would need more time to meet the criteria required for membership in the Western defense alliance. Experts believe that it will take Kiev more than 20 years to meet the required standards.

Moreover, NATO does not take in countries with ongoing internal conflicts or unresolved territorial disputes.

Sputnik Radio discussed the issue with political analyst Alexander Asafov, who explained that the above law pursues completely different purposes.

"By signing this document Poroshenko pursues two basic aims, but none of them is about joining NATO. In this particular case he confirms the alteration of Ukraine's top priorities: Euro-integration and accession into the EU is now being substituted by membership in NATO," the political analyst told Sputnik.

"The second aim is an attempt to drag NATO member countries into the deadlocked Ukrainian conflict and an attempt to shift the responsibility for the losses to the external authors," Asafov said.

There is also a propagandistic purpose, he said: to demonstrate to people that everything bad which is going on in Ukraine is purely because of the war and that the coming membership in NATO (which, in fact, is pretty illusive) will take upon itself all the risks and the situation will improve.

"Poroshenko thinks that such an approach towards the problem will clear him of all the accusations in the Ukrainian crisis," the political analyst finally stated.

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