The North Atlantic Treaty Organization and Ukrain

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This essay will discuss the interests and possible action that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (“NATO”) may implement with regards to Crimea’s recent annexation by Russia. NATO is a partnership that guarantees shared security and democratic values, as well as collective ‘defense against the threat of aggression’ (Kurt Volker, 2006; Madeleine Albright, 1998). Many of its member states are surrounding the Ukrainian region – which, combined with other factors – creates a very strong regional interest.

This essay will first discuss NATO’s organizational structure, and what it means for the Ukrainian conflict. Second, it will focus on NATO’s interests in the region. Third, NATOs preferred possible outcomes will be discussed. This essay will argue that NATOs preferred outcome is stability through diplomacy. It will not discuss the intricacies of the Crimean annexation, but will instead focus on the implications of regional instability and how this is reflected in NATO’s postiiton.

II. NATO’s composition

NATO comprises of 28 members states and with the exception of the United States (“US”), states are located in the European region (NATO, 2014). A product of the change in paradigm following the Cold War, NATO represents an institutional framework established for collective action (Goetschel, 2009, p. 269). While the fall of the Cold War has seen institutions such as NATO advocate a ‘soft power’ approach, there is much debate that ‘old style politics’ are back. Decisions made by NATO are by consensus by member states (NATO, 2010). This is important to note, as individual states’ contrasting interests may slow decision-making and policy implementation. NATO’s core tasks involve ‘collective defence, crisis-management and coop...

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...s better for Russia that the Ukraine does not step closer towards NATO and the EU, Russia does not seem to desire an escalated conflict. As such, perhaps diplomacy will suffice and Russia will withdraw accordingly. To affect such an outcome, it is important that NATO continues to maintain its presence in the Ukraine and puts continual pressure on the Kremlin through diplomacy and trade sanctions.

V. Conclusion

Geographical, political, economical and historical factors mean that the Ukrainian issue is multifaceted and will be difficult to resolve. For NATO, regional stability is paramount but not at the cost of Russia’s continued expansionism. To avoid such an outcome, NATO will continue to persist in its efforts to dispel Russia from the Ukraine. Diplomatic measures and troop presence should be enough to employ Russia’s co-operation, thus escalated aggression

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