Newsletter: Should NATO Admit Ukraine?

Should NATO Admit Ukraine Open to Debate


Garry Kasparov
Founder of Renew Democracy Initiative;
Former World Chess Champion


Charles Kupchan
Senior Fellow at the Council of Foreign Relations; Professor of International Affairs at Georgetown University


Gillian Tett
Editorial Board Chair & US Editor-at-Large of the Financial Times; Incoming Provost at King’s College Cambridge




Here is what we have in store this week:

This week’s debate on whether the reasoning for accepting Ukraine to NATO is justified

A closer look at whether the public thinks NATO should

 Your Sunday reading list



Since gaining independence from the former USSR, Ukraine has long sought membership in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), currently composed of 31 member countries from North America and Europe, to move away from Russian influence and toward the West. A year-long invasion— part of an almost decade-long war— has spurred Ukraine’s urgency to join the alliance, which operates on the premise that an attack against one member is an attack against all.

What are the arguments? On one side, some argue that extending NATO membership to Ukraine would strengthen the alliance’s eastern flank, acting as a deterrent against any potential aggression and reinforcing security in the region. On the other side, others argue that adding the country amid war will strain NATO’s resources and that more consideration is needed for determining Ukraine’s aspirations and preparedness for membership.

What’s at stake? Many fear accepting Ukraine into NATO will aggravate Putin, potentially increase the threat of nuclear war, and worsen the Russian invasion, costing more lives and an increasingly strained relationship between the West and Russia. Meanwhile, thousands of war-weary Ukrainians are hoping it would turn the tides in their favor.

Now, we debate the question: Should NATO Admit Ukraine? Arguing “yes” to the question (and returning as a debater) is former world chess champion and founder of the Renew Democracy Initiative, Garry Kasparov, who works to restore global democracy. Arguing “no” is Charles Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and expert in international relations, specifically about NATO. In addition, previous debater Gillian Tett, the Editorial Board Chair and Editor-at-Large US of the Financial Times and incoming Provost at King’s College Cambridge, joins us this week as our guest moderator.

Listen to the full episode here and tell us what you think by joining the debate on our website.



Most Americans support Ukraine joining NATO.
Is that a sentiment felt in other countries, excluding Russia?















Should NATO Admit Ukraine?



“[Ukraine doesn’t] exist according to Vladimir Putin. We should look at this war as… there’s no tie. Either we win or we lose… Recognizing this fact is very important for the integrity of NATO. There are other countries already in Eastern Europe being admitted to NATO on time. The fact that Ukraine is still waiting its turn despite all the sacrifices makes the situation much worse.”

Garry Kasparov



“If Ukraine joins NATO and a single bomb falls on Kyiv, the commitment to collective defense kicks in [and] the United States then has a treaty-based obligation to go to war against Russia. Or it can decide not to go to war.”

Charles Kupchan




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