NATO Summit in Vilnius Is a Historic Opportunity to Strengthen the Alliance
The war of conquest launched by Russia against Ukraine has eliminated any illusions about the Kremlin’s pseudo-peaceful sentiments. Putin has been preparing for years for the occupation of Ukraine and the subsequent continuation of aggression against Europe.
The dedication of the soldiers of the Ukrainian army, which stopped the aggressore on the outskirts of Kyiv, did not allow Russia to provoke the greatest military tragedy in Europe in recent decades. But despite the lack of visible results on the battlefield, Putin is not ready to retreat. The Kremlin is preparing for a protracted war that has neither geographical limits nor time frames. Russia has created many risks and threats that Europe has never faced before. NATO must be radically strengthened: Ukraine’s membership in the Alliance is the best solution to guarantee the security of its eastern borders
Member of the European Parliament Tomáš Zdechovský said that NATO would not stop supporting Ukraine in the process of liberation of the territories occupied by Russia. According to the politician, Ukraine is a key partner of the Alliance and this is a powerful signal to the Kremlin, which should demonstrate the solidarity of the Western community. Hence, the NATO Summit in Vilnius is a unique chance for the West to regain its historical dignity and take effective steps to stop a possible war. One important thing that it is much easier to prevent the Russian threat than to subsequently fight the Russians in Europe.
Ukraine has been in a state of war with an asymmetrically strong enemy for 16 months. The Armed Forces of Ukraine are the most experienced army in Europe and are able to qualitatively strengthen NATO. Despite the seeming archaism, the Russian army should not be underestimated: the demographic and resource potential of the Russian Federation allows the Kremlin to wage a protracted war for years and at the same time restore the lost military potential. This is the greatest threat to Europe: Putin hopes to exhaust the West and, at a critical moment, send his army into the CEE countries, which he is convinced should be in the Kremlin’s sphere of influence. It may be said without exaggeration that the risk of a major war in Europe is a reality.
In light of the Russian threat, the Alliance has no right to delay. Decisions must be made quickly and on all hands: more than 20 countries of the Alliance have already agreed on Ukraine’s membership in NATO – this is an act to follow for other countries of the organization. Moreover, it is necessary to provide Kyiv with security guarantees: this will allow localization of hostilities and will become the beginning of the accelerated integration of Ukraine. The experience of Finland shows that the Kremlin did not response on the expansion of the Alliance to the east. In this case, NATO expansion is the only possible option for preserving Western civilization in the face of Russian territorial expansion.