Ukraine was offered to be made a buffer between Russia and the West without NATO membership

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Political scientist Sauer: neither the West, nor Russia are interested in Ukraine's membership in NATO

Ukraine was offered to be made a buffer between Russia and the West without NATO membership

Photo: Valentin Ogirenko / Reuters

In the short term, Ukraine can be made a kind of buffer between Russia and the West, without granting it membership in the North Atlantic Alliance. This opinion was shared by Tom Sauer, professor of international politics at the Belgian University of Antwerp, in a commentary to

“Ukraine should become a kind of neutral buffer state, cooperating in the trade and economic sphere with both the West and Russia, a bit like Finland during the Cold War,” Sauer suggested. The political scientist noted that although Ukraine was promised NATO membership at the Bucharest summit in 2008, it should not become part of the alliance. According to him, neither the West nor Russia is interested in this.

Earlier, Sauer proposed the creation of a new European security organization on the basis of a radically transformed NATO or a renewed Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). According to the professor, both Russia and Ukraine should become its participants. According to him, this would allow creating a European security architecture, where there would be no place for military alliances, spheres of influence and buffer states.

Earlier, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said that the member countries of the alliance support Ukraine's right to self-defense, sovereignty and territorial integrity. He said that the North Atlantic Alliance is helping Kiev to move closer to NATO membership by implementing reforms. The alliance promised that they would never compromise on its basic principle – “the choice of each country to become part of the union that it wants.”

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