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Posted on Sustainabilitank.info on March 27th, 2008
by Pincas Jawetz (pj@sustainabilitank.info)

This posting brings up the EUobserver posting on the Ukraine and Georgia application to NATO (two of the GUAM’s – the other two are Azerbaijan and Moldova) and the posting on China with the Tibet Speaker of the Parliament-in-Exile visiting the European Parliament. that we posted also today. The two posting bring up a dilemma felt in Brussels and Washington relating to what should be the position of the West when it comes to issues of Freedom in their dealings with China and Russia. It seems that US Congress leader Nancy Pelosi lines up with the popular demand for principles shown now by the people of the EU. How should elected governments react?

Diplomatic tussle over Georgia and Ukraine NATO bids.

27.03.2008   By Honor Mahony – Germany and other western European states are attempting to block Georgia and Ukraine from getting the green light to join NATO out of a fear of antagonising Russia.

Citing diplomatic sources, German daily Financial Times Deutschland says that a group of western countries do not want Tbilisi and Kiev to get candidate status for membership of the military alliance, something they are due to receive at a high-level summit in Bucharest next week.

At the 2-4 April meeting, Georgia and Ukraine are hoping to get approval for their membership action plans (MAP). This would be considered as a signal that their application bid is on the right track.

The camp of blocking states is said to include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg.

A fear of annoying Russia which is categorically against its two neighbours joining a military organisation to which it does not belong is behind the move.

Earlier in the week, incoming Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in a Financial Times interview that Moscow was “not happy” with the situation. “We consider that it is extremely troublesome for the existing structure of European security,” he said.

ppeThe move by Germany and France and others puts them in the path of US president George W. Bush, who is in favour of Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO. Eastern EU member states such as Poland are also lobbying in favour of Tbilisi’s and Kiev’s membership.

Berlin opposition stems from a desire to keep talks on a compromise between Russia and the US on Washington’s planned missile defence shield – to be placed in Poland and the Czech Republic and strongly opposed by Moscow – on track.

Meanwhile, Georgia has called on NATO not to bow to pressure from Russia.

Foreign minister David Bakradze said it would inflame tensions in the region if Moscow gets its way on this issue.

“‘No’ in Bucharest will be very clearly seen by some people in Moscow as their success, and it will be very clearly seen in Moscow that they have indirect veto right on NATO decisions,” he said on Wednesday (26 March).

From all our experience with Russians, the most effective policy with Russians is policy based on principles, not on appeasement,” he added.

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