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Ukraine’s NATO membership unlikely in near future, Turkish expert says

Huseyin Bagci also noted that one should not expect landmark decisions to be made at the military bloc’s summit in June

ANKARA, May 30. /TASS/. The only prospects for Ukraine are to be fast-tracked into the EU, while the country’s membership in NATO is unlikely in the near future, a leading Turkish expert on European security told TASS on Monday.

"Currently, Ukraine stands no chance of being admitted to NATO. The country is more likely to join the EU, yet the issue is not on today’s agenda, despite statements being heard in Europe about its preparedness to immediately integrate Ukraine into the European family," said Huseyin Bagci, president of Turkey’s Foreign Policy Institute.

If Ukraine has so far resisted to Russia, it’s primarily thanks to the support it’s been receiving from NATO, he said.

"It’s no secret that the alliance has been offering Ukraine all kinds of assistance so that the country could survive, while NATO itself has avoided direct confrontation with Russia," the Turkish expert said.

Speaking ahead of the military bloc’s summit in June, Bagci said one should not expect landmark decisions to be made then, even though the bloc has been pushing for a new strategy. "The baseline expectation is that the Ukrainian crisis will end soonest, but this will not depend on NATO, but on Russia and Ukraine and on the scope of concessions the two could make," he added.

The ambition to punish Russia for its conflict with Ukraine will come at a cost to Europe, Bagci warned.

"Despite the current confrontation, cooperation between Europe and Russia is inevitable, and both sides need each other, even though the continent is making efforts to create a security architecture against Russia," the Turkish expert pointed out. "Meanwhile, it’s cooperation with Russia, not confrontation, that many European countries tend to pursue".