Possible NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia


Mr T

Senior Member
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President Bush is not backing down from a NATO battle over putting the ex-Soviet states Ukraine and Georgia on the road toward membership in the military alliance. In a speech planned for Wednesday at a NATO summit, Bush intends to say that beginning the process would encourage the countries to stay on the path of democracy and let them know they would be welcomed into the institutions of Europe.

"It would send a signal throughout the region that these two nations are, and will remain, sovereign and independent states," according to parts of the speech released Tuesday by the White House.

Earlier, while in Ukraine's capital, Bush said Russia will not wield veto power over Ukraine's NATO aspirations, but countries such as France and Germany stand ready to block the former Soviet republic, fearful of further straining ties with Moscow. He told President Viktor Yushchenko the U.S. "strongly supports your request" and a similar effort by Georgia.

Russia is not a NATO member and holds no veto authority over the alliance's decisions. But all NATO actions require a consensus, meaning any one of the 26 nations can blackball a potential new member. Greece, for example, is threatening to block Macedonia's membership application because of a dispute over Macedonia's name.

Bush's purpose in Kiev appeared to be intended to congratulate Ukraine on its democratic reforms and promise that someday it will join NATO, created 59 years ago to confront the Soviet Union and its expansionist goals.

In a news conference at the presidential secretariat, Bush said it was a "misperception" that the United States might soften its push on behalf of Ukraine and Georgia if Russia were to ease opposition to Washington's plan for a missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic.

"There's no trade-offs. Period," Bush said, adding that is exactly what he told Russian President Vladimir Putin in a recent telephone call.

Bush and Putin, whose successor takes over in May, are to meet Sunday in the Russian Black Sea resort of Sochi. White House officials have expressed hopes the leaders could end months of sharp disagreements and strike a deal.

As if to give a last reminder of Russia's wishes, Putin's deputy foreign minister, Grigory Karasin, said Ukraine's accession to NATO would cause a "deep crisis" in relations with Ukraine and the West. Nevertheless, Bush said he would go to NATO carrying a banner of support for the Ukraine and Georgia.
It would be great if those two countries could join up. Certainly Ukraine should be included - Georgia if possible.

I think Russia is being a bit immature - it can't threaten sovereign states just because they want to join an organisation. Russia would get on better with them if it stopped trying to control everything they do. Or maybe this goes to show that Russia still sees them as tributary states or something a la Soviet Union. :(
 

montyp165

Junior Member
Having a military alliance organized against you sitting on your borders is no indicator of benign intent by any stretch. The Russians are quite rightly PO'ed and should stand firm on their views in this circumstance.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
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Having a military alliance organized against you sitting on your borders is no indicator of benign intent by any stretch.
NATO was formed as a means of uniting against the USSR and later served as a counterweight to the Warsaw Pact. Both are now dissolved - as can be seen by actions in Afghanistan and the Balkans, Russia has little to do with current NATO operations.

Sure Russia is a matter of concern for a couple of smaller states, but that is more down to disputes over energy supplies and historical matters. NATO wants to work with Russia, as can be seen by the fact that they have joint meetings together. Would Moscow really attend and have ambassadors to it if it was "organised against it"? I don't think so.

And what exactly is Russia going to achieve by threatening neighbours not to join? It's only going to encourage them to push for it.
 

montyp165

Junior Member
Western spindoctoring has been quite pernicious, unfortunately, as the little known fact about NATO's rejection of Russian entry into NATO in the 1990's, upon other things, attests to. At this point Russia's security concerns are far more concrete than the abstracted presentations by the US and NATO, and to treat those so blithely betrays a certain naivete towards geopolitical dynamics.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
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Western spindoctoring has been quite pernicious, unfortunately, as the little known fact about NATO's rejection of Russian entry into NATO in the 1990's, upon other things, attests to.
Hold on. Russia complains that too many countries are joining NATO at the moment. You're now saying NATO is doing wrong because its expansion is too slow?

Anyway, Russian membership would be controversial even if it wanted to join. At the moment even Ukraine and Georgia are a source of disagreement - Russia would be no different.
 

Azerbaijan

Just Hatched
Registered Member
The NATO membership of Ukraine and Georgia is currently impossible because Russia will necer accept it.Ukraine is too closed to the Moscow and Georgia is a gate to all Caucasia.If US insists on these memberships then you can see a divided Ukraine and totally collapsed Georgia.

do not forget that Russia still has a power to start a civil war both in Georgia and Ukraine.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
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If US insists on these memberships then you can see a divided Ukraine and totally collapsed Georgia.

do not forget that Russia still has a power to start a civil war both in Georgia and Ukraine.
Russia could back the break-away provinces of Georgia, but they're small - a "civil war" would really be a Russian-backed insurgency there.

As for Ukraine, it's unlikely NATO membership will happen until there is more consensus in the country itself on the matter. But the EU membership process may begin even if Russia opposes it.
 

ordinary dude

New Member
NATO expansion right onto the door step of Moscow causes legitimate concern in the Kremlin. This issue is rather vital to the national security of the Russian Federation. If Ukraine or Georgia is admitted, it wouldn't surprise me to see Ukraine and Georgia be severely punished with huge energy price increases. As of right now, Ukraine and some former soviet republics receives gas from Russia at subsidized costs. Joining NATO will not benefit the people of Ukraine or Georgia. And it is likely that the governments would be voted out of office if they do join NATO. People are suffering from higher food prices already, they really don't need to lose out on the cheap gas from Russia at this time. This is a pocketbook issue.
 

Mr T

Senior Member
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NATO expansion right onto the door step of Moscow causes legitimate concern in the Kremlin. This issue is rather vital to the national security of the Russian Federation.
How? Is Russia somehow threatened by the idea that it can't bully its neighbours because they're part of a larger organisation? :confused:

As of right now, Ukraine and some former soviet republics receives gas from Russia at subsidized costs.
Not anymore. As far as I know, the only country receiving significant subsidies is Belarus (and even they're being charged more now) - Russia has insisted Ukraine pay normal rates (or v. close to) for a while.
 

Finn McCool

Captain
Registered Member
How? Is Russia somehow threatened by the idea that it can't bully its neighbours because they're part of a larger organisation? :confused:
In as much as that organization at least was founded directly as an opponent to Russia (sort of) then yes, it is. Of course, NATO's purpose has changed since the fall of the Soviet Union, but it is still an organization that has frosty relations with Russia and seemingly intends to counterbalance Russia's influence. So it's not a threat to Russia's exsistance or territory but let's not pretend that NATO is totally benign and only wants to "be friends" with Russia. Russia is trying to defend the last bit of it's traditional "buffer zone" that Russian leaders have attempted to preserve since Napoleon invaded their country. Russian leaders have always seen a sphere of influence encompassing almost all the countries immediately bordering them as critical to their security. It is a sign of Russia's weakness that some of those countries that have traditionally been within Russia's sphere of influence are outright opposed to many of Russia's policies (Poland, Georgia, Estonia).
 

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