Ukraine’s NATO membership
The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (or NATO), also called the (North) Atlantic Alliance, is an inter-governmental military alliance based on the North Atlantic Treaty of 1949. The organization constitutes a system of collective defense, whereby its member states agree to mutual defense in response to an attack by any external party.
Since January 2008, Ukraine has been a candidate to join NATO. Plans for Ukrainian membership to NATO were shelved by President Viktor Yanukovychin 2010, who opted to keep Ukraine a non-aligned state. However, European integration being part of Ukraine’s national security strategy, co-operation with NATO is not excluded. Ukraine and NATO still hold joint seminars and joint tactical and strategic exercises and operations.
The U.S. is in support for future Ukrainian membership in NATO. While commenting on the situation in Ukraine and its relations with NATO, the U.S. President, Barack Obama said, “We don’t need a war. What we do need is recognition that countries like Ukraine can have relationships with a whole range of their neighbors and it is not up to anybody whether it is Russia or anybody else to make decisions for them.”
The situation in Ukraine and Russia has had its repercussions even on the developed markets. In reaction to the tensions between Ukraine and Russia, ETFs tracking emerging market indices like the VanEck Vectors Russia ETF (RSX) and the iShares MSCI Emerging Markets Eastern Europe ETF (ESR) tanked along with U.S. broad market ETF, the iShares S&P 100 Index Fund (OEF), whose underlying index tracks the top 100 companies in the U.S., including Apple Inc. (AAPL) and Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM), which also weakened in terms of price performance.
On the other hand, Russia is strongly opposed to Ukraine joining NATO. In 2008, the Russian President Vladimir Putin even said that Russia may target its missiles at Ukraine if it joins NATO and accepts the deployment of a U.S. missile defense shield.
Former Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, has stated more than once that his country would not allow foreign military bases on its territory.