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Die Ukraine gehört in die Nato

(source: http://www.faz.net/aktuell/politik/krim-krise-die-ukraine-gehoert-in-die-nato-12848515.html)

If "to belong to" is "gehören zu," why was "in die" used in this headline instead of "zu die"?
As far as I know, "to belong to" is either "gehören zu" or "jdm gehören" with no preposition at all.

For learning: German
Base language: English
Category: Language

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    Best Answer - Chosen by the Asker
    Well, if you regard the Nato as a "room", the preposition "in(to)" should be clear.

    Another example would be:
    Das Spielzeug gehört in die Kiste. (The toys should be put into the box.)
    Das Spielzeug gehört neben die Kiste. (The toys should be put next to the box.)

    If you said "Das Spielzeug gehört zu der Kiste", it would mean that toys and box make a group. That could be possible in a game.

    "Der Junge gehört zu mir."
    => The boy belongs to me. He's member of my group/family.

    "Der Junge gehört mir."
    => I'm the owner of that boy.

    I think it's also possible to say "Die Ukraine gehört zur Nato" (or rather: "Die Ukraine soll zur Nato gehören") if we regard the Nato as a group, not a room to host countries.

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