American Institute in Ukraine (AIU) Applauds Realism in the Recently Released Report from the Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia

March 20, 2009
--Obama Administration Should Embrace Commission’s Recommendation that Ukraine is not Ready for NATO Membership--

KIEV, UKRAINE -- American Institute in Ukraine (AIU) Executive Director Anthony T. Salvia issued the following statement today, following the release of the Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia’s report urging the Obama Administration to stop encouraging Ukraine and Georgia from pursuing membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO):

“The American Institute in Ukraine applauds the pragmatism found in the recent report from the Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia. It is hoped that the Obama Administration takes heed of the Commission’s recommendation that ‘neither Ukraine nor Georgia is ready for NATO membership.’ AIU questions the wisdom of further expansion without clear and convincing evidence that it would directly enhance U.S. security interests, defined as defense of American territory and the American people; protect the territorial defense of its member states, consistent with the sole mission of the alliance as specified in the North Atlantic Treaty; contribute to the security of countries considered for expansion, beginning with Ukraine; and not injure relations with Russia, which must be an ongoing priority of American foreign and security policy. There is reason to question whether any of these criteria exists now or will exist in the foreseeable future.”

In The Right Direction for U.S. Policy Toward Russia, the Commission on U.S. Policy Toward Russia reported: “…Washington should not expect that it can attempt to create its own sphere of influence on Russia’s borders while simultaneously seeking a constructive relationship with Russia…we do not believe that the United States has a compelling security interest in expediting NATO membership for either Ukraine or Georgia at this time…[Ukraine’s] membership in the alliance could decrease rather than increase Europe’s overall security given the realities on the ground…”

About the American Institute in Ukraine

The American Institute in Ukraine is a privately funded U.S. nonprofit organization. AIU's purpose is to address questions relating to American policy toward Ukraine, particularly with respect to security issues such as Ukraine's possible accession as a member state of the North Atlantic Treaty Alliance.

AIU strives to bring to the people of Ukraine a sense of the diversity of opinion that exists among Americans regarding NATO and other relevant issues. Such diversity is not apparent from the presence of other American organizations active in Ukraine, many of which are funded by the U.S. government and actively promote Ukraine's entry into NATO at the earliest possible date, despite the fact the the majority of Ukraine's population is opposed to NATO accession. AIU is not committed either to agree or to disgree with any official U.S. policy as such but seeks to provide a perspective guided by the American national interest as it relates to Ukraine and to other countries, such as our NATO allies and Russia.