The New York TimesThe New York Times

If a divided Germany could enter NATO, why not Ukraine?

By Steven Erlanger

26 May 2023 · 5 min read

informed Summary

• West Germany became a NATO member in 1955, despite its division and unhappy role as the border between nuclear armed rivals during the Cold War.

Though peace seems distant, the United States and Europe are debating how to guarantee Ukraine’s security once the fighting with Russia stops, even without a total victory by either side. West Germany may provide a model, a precedent for admitting a divided country into NATO.

Despite its division and unhappy role as the border between nuclear armed rivals during the Cold War, West Germany became a NATO member in 1955, benefiting from the alliance’s protection, without ever giving up its commitment to unification, finally realized in 1989.

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