Why can't Russia stop Ukraine from joining NATO by signing a treaty with a friendly NATO state?

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The Politicus
Mar 08, 2022 04:00 AM 0 Answers
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One of the core demands that Russia is making on Ukraine is that Ukraine enshrine neutrality, thereby permanently refraining from joining NATO. In other words, one of the reasons Russia went to war is to stop Ukraine from joining NATO.

Given that all member states in NATO must agree to a new state joining, why can't Russia prevent Ukraine from joining the alliance by getting Turkey or Hungary (or any other willing state that's already in NATO) to agree to veto any attempt by Ukraine to join the alliance? This sounds like a considerably simpler method to achieve the goal than going to war. I remember reading that Western leaders refuse to rule out admitting Ukraine in the future because they believe in Ukraine's right to self-determination, but this arrangement also sidesteps that objection, since Ukraine would still be free to apply, they just won't be able to join.

If this is possible: has it been suggested? If this is not possible (or not acceptable to Russia): why not?

Related: What, if any, reasons prevented Ukraine from joining NATO? which indicates that Hungary has already been blocking Ukraine from joining NATO, so if Hungary can be persuaded (or compelled via treaty) to keep blocking Ukraine from joining NATO, then there is no need for Russia to go to war.

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