Ukraine in NATO? George W. Bush Russia Expert Says ‘No’

( – Former US diplomat and Russia expert Thomas Graham said Ukraine cannot join NATO while it is at war with Russia, and the military alliance will not make genuine membership offers to Kyiv. At a 2008 summit, NATO promised to advance Ukraine’s involvement but stopped short of a formal invite, and Mr. Graham suggests this will not change.

Graham argues that NATO does not want war with Russia, and if Ukraine enters its ranks, it would be obliged to confront that reality. As a consolation prize, President Biden recently signed a bilateral defense agreement with Kyiv, but this also stops short of the collective defense alliance that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is seeking. In 2022, the President firmly stated that the US was unwilling to start “World War III” to defend Ukraine but emphasized he would “defend every single inch of NATO territory.”

On June 13, the US and Ukraine entered into a security pact that included promises from America to provide intelligence assistance, spearhead economic sanctions against Russia, and support the reconstruction of Ukraine’s economy once the conflict had ceased.

The US has already given billions of dollars to Ukraine, and President Biden continues to defend his backing of Kyiv as Republicans become increasingly skeptical. At the recent Presidential debate in Atlanta, President Biden repeated his claim that failing to defend Ukraine would result in a Russian victory, which would, in turn, prompt Russian President Vladimir Putin to invade more Eastern European nations. Biden stated that such a situation would inevitably lead to global conflict.

Ukrainian journalists, lawmakers, and commentators watched the debate closely, and some speculated what a Trump Presidency would mean for their country. Oleksandr Merezhko, head of the Ukrainian parliament’s foreign relations committee, said Trump’s promise to end the war within weeks of his victory was an “illusion.” He said if Mr. Trump resumes office, he will soon learn that Putin is not interested in peace agreements but “the destruction of Ukraine’s statehood.”

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