On December 1, the North Atlantic Alliance published a report by an independent Group of Experts working to develop a vision for NATO's future by 2030. The group was appointed by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
The expert report states that NATO should seek to expand and strengthen its partnership with Ukraine and Georgia that are striving to become members of the Alliance and suffering constant external and internal pressure by Russia. "NATO's Open Door Policy should be maintained and intensified," the report reads.
"We welcome the call of the expert group to intensify the Alliance's Open Door Policy and strengthen cooperation with partners. Ukraine is moving towards membership. As a natural partner of NATO, we are already contributing to transatlantic security and ready to increase it by expanding cooperation with allies, in particular in the Black Sea," said Olha Stefanishyna, Deputy Prime Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration.
The report emphasizes that NATO's Open Door Policy plays a key role in modernizing partners, their integration process and preparing them for future membership in the Alliance. In addition, NATO should enlarge its assistance to Partners who have declared their commitment to join the Alliance, helping them to develop the tools and reforms needed to meet the membership criteria as well as working with Partner's political, military, civilian and administrative structures. Also, the experts say, NATO must remain committed to the decision of the 2008 Bucharest Summit and raise the issue of membership negotiations to a higher level.
"I am grateful to the Group of Experts that the proposals developed by Ukraine at the time, which we had submitted to NATO and the experts, were reflected in the report of the expert group. We also fully support the approach that NATO, the most powerful security alliance, should pay attention not only to military threats but also to such key issues for the modern world as energy security and climate change. "The construction of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline poses a direct threat to the unity and security of NATO member states," added Olha Stefanishyna.
The report states that energy security is part of common security. It is also key to strengthening the Alliance's resilience and countering hybrid threats. In particular, previous examples have shown that energy can be used as part of the foreign policy of potential adversaries, and is part of their hybrid activities.
Experts recommend that members of the Alliance consider their national energy security plans through the prism of their Allies 'security and try to avoid actions that could increase their Allies' susceptibility to manipulation, such as political blackmail or supply disruptions. NATO must also ensure that energy security becomes the main focus of engagement with energy-producing or transit partners.
The analysis and recommendations proposed in the report were forwarded to the NATO Secretary General to develop a position on the Alliance's strategic vision for the next decade. At a meeting of NATO leaders in 2021, the Secretary General will offer recommendations to Allied Heads of State and Government to strengthen NATO's political dimension.