KYIV (QHA) -

The military conflict on the territory of Ukraine might not prevent us from joining NATO, the Ukrainian expert on military issues Igor Losev said in a commentary to QHA.

According to him, Russia deliberately creates conflicts to prevent other countries from joining the military alliance, and others should not play along to the Kremlin.

In this context, the expert calls not to focus on the norms of the organization, noting that they are not dogma.

“As you know, NATO accepts only democratic countries, and when Greece and Turkey were admitted to the alliance, there was no democracy, and there were military dictatorships. That is, we should not think that a military conflict on the territory of Ukraine can prevent us from joining NATO," Losev said.

According to the military expert, it should not be also assumed that the Ukrainian army does not reach the standards of the armed forces of NATO member countries. For example, Losev believes that the armies of the NATO member countries of Montenegro and Albania are very far from the Ukrainian one.

"Or do you think that the Bulgarian army is better than ours? All this is verbal truth, in practice, if you look at the Bulgarian army, then this is the same army that was at the time of the Warsaw Pact. The same situation is in Romania, Poland," he said.

According to the expert, all European armies, if compared to the American one, lag far behind, and US President Donald Trump rightly reproaches his Western allies, calling for spending 2% of the country's GDP for defense needs, as stipulated in the NATO charter.

He also believes that the Ukrainian leadership needs political will to bring the country to the Alliance. In the meantime, Losev notes, only declarations and statements sound about it.

“Remember, once President Petro Poroshenko promised to hold a referendum on the country's accession to NATO? Most Ukrainians support this idea. Catch the moment, as they say, but somehow this was abandoned later. Well, imagine a referendum on joining NATO had been held, most citizens have supported this idea and the alliance would have had to take this into account,” Losev explained.

Ealier, the Secretary General of the North Atlantic alliance, Jens Stoltenberg, at a joint briefing with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko in Brussels, said that the National Security Law would bring Ukraine closer to NATO.

He also stressed that the Alliance members continue to support Ukraine, for example, send experts to Kyiv and organize joint projects on cyber defense, rehabilitation of the military and logistics.

QHA