Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine

Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine

Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine

Endgame in NATO's Enlargement: The Baltic States and Ukraine

Synopsis

After briefly dealing with arguments for and against NATO's enlargement as far as Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, the author shows why the enlargement process must be carried forward to include, in the near future, the three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Ukraine. Inclusion of the Baltic States and of Ukraine in NATO would stabilize the region by helping the Russian democrats to concentrate on building a genuinely democratic, market-oriented Russian national state, instead of succumbing to the temptation to restore the Soviet Union. Ukraine could also contribute to NATO a sizable conventional military force and a prime strategic area; the Baltic States offer a prime location and an indomitable spirit. The Balts and Ukraine will help NATO when finally admitted as full members.

Excerpt

By mid-1998, roughly a year after the nato summit in Madrid and some nine months before the expected formal accessions to nato of Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary on the fiftieth anniversary of the original Washington Treaty in April 1999, the situation in both domestic and foreign policy, in Washington as well as in Central and Eastern Europe, has become only slightly less murky than it had been in mid-1997. in the spring of 1998, the U.S. Senate approved the amendment to the Washington Treaty in favor of nato enlargement with a strong margin. But a seemingly failed amendment served to indicate the limits of U.S. support for NATO's enlargement beyond the first three candidates. a month before the vote in the U.S. Senate, the German Bundestag had overwhelmingly endorsed NATO's enlargement to include the first three and, in subsequent accessions, the Baltic states, but not Ukraine. the Czech Republic, one of the three states chosen to be admitted in the first round, unexpectedly ran into a small rough spot on its path to accession, which was, however, smoothed over by the strong advocacy of President Vaclav Havel in Prague and President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Madeleine Korbel Albright in Washington. Hungary's popular enthusiasm for admission to nato has also remained somewhat shallow, but less controversial, than the opinion polls in the Czech Republic. Popular and elite support for nato in Poland, however, remained more robust than in mid-1996, after the victory of the democratic right in the parliamentary elections of September 1997.

The Balts remained as eager to join nato as they had been in 1995- 1996, despite their partial rebuff at Madrid and despite all of the offers of security guarantees by Russia after Madrid. in mid-January 1998, the . . .

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