An Unexpected Front: How Integration with NATO Helps Countries Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic
In 2020, the world has faced the largest pandemic since the beginning of the 20th century. Most countries around the world have introduced various measures of isolation – from quarantine to complete closure of borders. Ukraine was no exception. At that time, Euro-Atlantic integration took a secondary place. However, NATO’s activity, in particular Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, is not just about collective defence in the face of military conflict. The Alliance is currently demonstrating that both partnership and membership allow it to defend itself against a new invisible enemy.
During March-April, the Alliance carried out a number of operations to counter COVID-19. Cargo shipments from Member States were sent to where they are most needed. As of the end of April, more than a hundred flights to deliver medicines and protective suits were performed within the demonstration of NATO mutual assistance. Although this is not the first case of mutual assistance, NATO is currently extremely active. The Alliance is already preparing possible scenarios for the next wave of the pandemic, while most national governments are still waiting for the possibility of easing restrictions. So why can NATO actively counter epidemiological threats?