June 28, 2023
The following letter was sent on behalf of American Jewish Committee (AJC) to all NATO Heads of Government urging them to support Ukraine’s accession to NATO.
On behalf of American Jewish Committee (AJC), the global advocacy organization for the Jewish people, we write to express strong support for Ukraine's accession to NATO. For Ukraine’s survival and Europe’s safety, it is imperative that the upcoming summit in Vilnius end with a clear path to Ukraine’s NATO membership and the country’s security during the accession process.
Russia’s aggression not only threatens Ukraine’s survival but is a rejection of democracy itself and the rules- based international order that has, for decades, maintained international stability. The brutal assault continues to have far-reaching geopolitical implications. Welcoming Ukraine into NATO would also send a strong signal to other bad actors, ranging from Pyongyang to Tehran. If Western nations demonstrate unity and resolve by accepting Ukraine, it will help deter these actors as well and convey a clear message that any aggression or destabilizing behavior will be met with a strong response. This is also why AJC has long urged strong action against Russia’s closest military ally – the regime in Iran. We consider it crucial that NATO member states blacklist the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, which supplies Moscow with deadly drones against Ukrainian civilians and critical infrastructure.
AJC has a long-standing commitment to the transatlantic community and the stability and security of Europe. Our organization was among the first to urge the U.S. Administration to recognize the independence of the Baltic States and Ukraine after the collapse of the Soviet Union. AJC also played a crucial role in advocating for the Visegrád and Baltic countries’ NATO membership. Ukraine's commitment to democracy, freedom, and the rule of law aligns with the core values that NATO upholds. Ukraine, too, must be given the opportunity to join the Alliance.
While critics argue that Ukraine's NATO membership could further escalate tensions with Russia, potentially leading to more conflict, history has shown that the lack of strong action in the face of aggression only emboldens aggressors. By embracing Ukraine and reinforcing its security, NATO can help deter further Russian aggression and provide a stable framework for dialogue and de-escalation.
Similarly, critics raise concerns about the potential obligations and risks associated with Ukraine's membership, including the possibility of being drawn into conflicts or placing a burden on other Alliance members. However, the benefits of integrating Ukraine into NATO, such as enhancing stability and deterring aggression, far outweigh any potential risks. Ukraine has one of the largest armed forces in Europe and would be a powerful addition to NATO’s deterrent capabilities. It is battle-tested and it has demonstrated that, if properly equipped, it is capable of stopping the Russian invasion.
We appreciate your leadership and dedication to upholding democratic values and strengthening international security. By supporting Ukraine's NATO accession, the Alliance will demonstrate its unwavering commitment to the principles and values that have upheld the infrastructure of global peace for more than 74 years and contribute to a safer region and world.
Theodore E. Deutch
AJC Chief Executive Officer
Edward and Sandra Meyer Office of the CEO
Michael L. Tichnor