Facing Russia, Ex-Soviet States Need NATO

Joining alliance key to security, Ukraine's president says
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 26, 2008 1:03 PM CDT
Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko listen to the national anthem during a military parade to mark the 17th anniversary of Ukraine's Independence, in the capital in Kiev, Sunday, Aug. 24, 2008.    (AP Photo/Sergei Chuzavkov)
camera-icon View 3 more images

(Newser) – Russia's military actions in Georgia sent shudders throughout the region, Ukrainian president Viktor Yushchenko writes in the Guardian. Not only did the war reveal the Kremlin's willingness to commit "massacres" for political gain; it also exposed the weakness of the UN and European security organizations. The West needs to send peacekeepers—and continue the NATO accession process for Georgia and Ukraine.

Ukraine, like Georgia, is a democracy in the shadow of increasingly authoritarian Russia, Yushchenko writes. The recent war raised particular worries for Ukraine, as Russia's navy conducted operations within Ukrainian territory. The best bulwark against a belligerent Moscow, he concludes, is "the path of Euro-Atlantic integration," as exemplified by NATO—"the path of democracy, freedom, and independence."