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Ukraine applies to NATO alliance. How easy will it be to become a member?

Ukraine is formally applying for a fast-track membership to the NATO military alliance, but experts say it will likely take years for the country to actually become a member.

“There is certainly no rush to bring Ukraine into NATO,” Julian Spencer-Churchill, associate professor of political science at Concordia University, told Global News. “If I had to bet, I would say seven years.”

Read more: Russia claims 4 ‘new regions’ as Putin declares annexation in parts of Ukraine

NATO, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, is a political and military alliance of countries from Europe and North America, formed shortly after the second world war, holding the Soviet Union’s Warsaw Pact in check during the Cold War. Since the Soviet collapse it has been been involved in military operations in various parts of the world, such as the Balkans and Afghanistan. It currently has 30 members including Canada, the United States, Germany, France, Greece and more recently, Poland.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in Feb., Finland and Sweden simultaneously conveyed their intent to join NATO but have not yet been officially invited to become allies.

“NATO provides countries collective defense and collective assurance. It allows them to cooperate faster than if there was no alliance,” said Spencer-Churchill.

Eight months into the war, Ukraine’s Volodymyr Zelenskyy was shown signing a document flanked by his prime minister and the speaker of parliament on Friday in a Telegram video, after announcing the membership bid – something Moscow fiercely opposes.

“We are taking our decisive step by signing Ukraine’s application for accelerated accession to NATO,” Zelenskyy said.

“De facto, we have already proven compatibility with alliance

NATO

Vladimir Putin Volodymyr Zelenskyy

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