On February 7, the Verkhovna Rada amended the Constitution by 334 votes, which consolidated the course for full membership in the European Union and NATO. The document was supported by deputies from the factions of the "Petro Poroshenko Bloc "Solidarity", " People's Front ", "Self Help", "Batkivshchyna" and " Radical Party ", as well as most of the non-faction and the group " People's Will ". The "Opposition Bloc" faction voted against it. This is the final vote. The amendments will come into force after the law will be signed by the speaker of Parliament and the President. The draft amendments to the Constitution were submitted in September 2018 by President Petro Poroshenko. Accession to NATO and the EU was one of the most important topics of Petro Poroshenko's forum when he announced running for a second presidential term. Nevertheless, amendments to the Constitution does not mean a quick accession into NATO or the European Union. To do this, many conditions still must be fulfilled and the necessary reforms need to be carried out. Also on February 7, the Verkhovna Rada adopted an appeal to the leaders and parliaments of NATO member states, the North Atlantic Council and the NATO Parliamentary Assembly with a request to provide Ukraine with a Plan of Action at the NATO summit in London in December 2019.
Amendments to the Constitution add formulation on European and Euro-Atlantic integration to the preamble and three other articles of the Constitution. Another innovation is to remove from the transitional provisions paragraph 14 on the temporary use of existing military bases for foreign formations on a leasehold basis. This is done in order Constitution formally will not allow Russian Black Sea Fleet to be in the Crimea. In the article on the powers of the Verkhovna Rada "the definition of the foundations of domestic and foreign policy" a formulation was supplemented - " the implementation of the strategic course of the state to gain full membership of Ukraine in the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization." To the powers of the President wad added that he is the guarantor of this implementation, and the Cabinet provides this implementation.
The President's initiative is explained by the reluctance to allow revenge of pro-Russian forces. In order next, perhaps more pro-Russian authorities could not win back the integration into the EU and NATO, because it will be difficult to find 300 votes. Announcing this initiative on August 24, 2018, Petro Poroshenko said that "there is an obvious threat of revision of the European and Euro-Atlantic strategy under the influence of various external and internal circumstances".
However, the Law does not specify clear dates of steps for accession to the EU and the NATO. However, it clearly states that the Euro-Atlantic course of Ukraine is irreversible. And hence any politicians attempt to change the course of Ukraine towards Russia will be interpreted solely as a violation of the Constitution of Ukraine. This will make the pro-Russian revenge impossible. This is a historic decision for Ukraine and is not aimed at individuals or political parties. These changes concern the state of Ukraine, European identity, the desire of our people to be self-sufficient among Europeans. The Law clearly states that the President will guarantee the implementation of the strategic course of the state for membership in the EU and NATO. The government will ensure the implementation of such a course. And the Parliament should adopt those bills that will contribute to the implementation of the strategic course of Ukraine to gain membership in the EU and NATO.
The European Union stated that each country has the right to change its own Constitution, and reminded Ukraine about the need for reforms and implementation of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This was stated by the the representative of the European Union at the request of the "European Truth" to comment on the adoption of amendments to the Constitution regarding the course of Ukraine to the EU and NATO. "The sovereign right of each country is to amend the Constitution and determine its strategic goals," - said the representative of the European Union. However, he recalled that, in the opinion of the EU, the gradual European integration of Ukraine will contribute to the implementation of reforms. "As stated in the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, by promoting the process of reforms and harmonization in Ukraine contributes to the gradual economic integration and deepening of political EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. This was confirmed at the summit, which took place on July 9, 2018," the representative said. He added that Brussels is focused on the full implementation of the political EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including a deep and comprehensive free trade zone "in order to take full advantage of opportunities provided for the maximum benefit for both parties"
NATO recognizes Ukraine's desire to gain membership in the NATO and also emphasizes the need to continue reforms. This was stated by the NATO representative at the request of the"European Truth". "We recognize Ukraine's desire to join the NATO, and NATO's solidarity with Ukraine is firm." At the same time, NATO did not give an assessment of the very fact of consolidation the course on membership in NATO and the EU in the Constitution. "We welcome the progress made in the implementation of reforms and call on Ukraine to continue the path of reforms. This is crucial for prosperity and peace in Ukraine and for stability in the Euro-Atlantic region", - the representative of the NATO said in a comments.
We cannot but agree that the consolidation in the Constitution of Ukraine of integration into the EU and NATO is an important decision, which confirms the determination of our country in the chosen path. However, despite the approval of the EU and NATO, we are constantly told we need to put great effort in order to gain full membership, first of all it concerns the proper implementation of reforms. In addition, despite the repeated amendments to the Constitution, there is indeed a threat of changing the vector in the event of the victory of the Pro-Russian in the upcoming presidential elections. Therefore, the main challenge that now facing Ukraine is to accelerate the process of integration into the EU and NATO by real actions of the power elite.