Σάββατο, 29 Νοεμβρίου 2008

Nato denies Georgia and Ukraine

Nato has confirmed it will not yet offer membership to Georgia or Ukraine after the 26-member alliance was split amid strong objections from Russia. Moscow said Nato's promise at a summit in Romania that the nations would join one day was a "huge strategic mistake". Macedonia vowed to leave the summit after it was denied entry. Albania and Croatia were given the green light. Nato members were set to endorse US plans for anti-missile defences in Europe, which Russia has opposed. US and Czech officials have agreed to base a missile defence radar on Czech soil. Nato Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer told a news conference that Georgia and Ukraine would become members eventually. Germany and France had been opposed to putting the two nations on the path to membership, amid concerns voiced by Russia over Nato's eastward expansion. "Georgia's and Ukraine's membership in the alliance is a huge strategic mistake which would have most serious consequences for pan-European security," Interfax news agency quoted Russia's Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Grushko as saying on the sidelines of the summit. Georgian diplomats said they were "not happy" with the delay but welcomed the promise of eventual membership. Macedonian officials said their rejection was a "huge disappointment" that would undermine stability in the Balkans, and said they would leave the three-day summit early. Macedonia's membership was strongly opposed by Greece, which has a northern province that is also called Macedonia.
Dmitry Medvedev has welcomed a decision by the U.S. not to push for Georgia and Ukraine`s entry into NATO using the alliance`s so-called membership action plan (MAP). The Russian President said he was “glad” that “common sense prevailed” in the end.

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