NATO to Drop Membership Action Plan for Ukraine

Ukraine welcomed the move but is asking for more

NATO is set to drop the requirement for Ukraine to go through a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the alliance, AFP reported on Monday.

The MAP is designed to ensure aspiring NATO members make reforms to meet certain political, economic, and military standards to join the alliance. Waiving the MAP would speed up Ukrainian membership if NATO ever formally invites Kyiv to join.

Between 1999 and 2020, every new NATO member joined the alliance through a MAP, which is tailored to each country. However, Finland and Sweden were invited to join the alliance last year without having to go through the MAP process.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba welcomed NATO’s expected decision to drop the MAP requirement but is asking for more as Kyiv seeks a formal invitation to join the alliance, which is unlikely.

“Following intensive talks, NATO allies have reached consensus on removing MAP from Ukraine’s path to membership. I welcome this long-awaited decision that shortens our path to NATO. It is also the best moment to offer clarity on the invitation to Ukraine to become member,” Kuleba wrote on Twitter.

On Friday, President Biden said Ukraine couldn’t join NATO while it’s fighting a war with Russia because it would mean the alliance is at war with Russia. He also suggested it would take a long time for Ukraine to join, even after the war.

According to Reuters, NATO officials are working on an agreement on the wording of a communique that will be issued at the two-day NATO summit in Vilnius that starts Tuesday. NATO is expected to compromise and give Ukraine some sort of new commitment, such as waiving the MAP requirement.

NATO first pledged that Ukraine could eventually join the alliance at a 2008 summit in Bucharest, but Kyiv has never been given a timeline or a concrete roadmap toward membership. Ukrainian entry into NATO is a major redline for Russia, so any new NATO commitments will likely prolong the war.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.