Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev voiced opposition to a proposed NATO expansion to include Ukraine and Georgia, seeing it as "extremely troublesome for the existing structure of European security".
NATO leaders meeting in
“We are not happy about the situation around
“We consider that it is extremely troublesome for the existing structure of European security. ... No state can be pleased about having representatives of a military bloc to which it does not belong coming close to its borders.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin, who opposes their accession bids, has accepted an invitation to go to the summit, which U.S. President George W. Bush will attend.
If he goes, Putin will be the first Russian president to attend a NATO summit for six years. But Russian political analysts say he may cancel the trip if it appears NATO members will use the summit to award MAP status to
Bush is due to visit
Speaking in his first interview since he won a March 2 presidential election, Medvedev questioned why
“It is a thing that is hard to explain when the overwhelming majority of citizens of one of the states, like Ukraine for example, is categorically against joining NATO but the government of that state conducts a different policy,” he said.
“It is precisely this that is a question of real democracy. At the minimum, in situations like this it is the done thing to hold a referendum,” said Medvedev, who will be sworn in to take over from Putin, his mentor, on May 7.
Now, its confidence restored by an economic boom and Putin’s assertive foreign policy, it is determined to prevent the alliance moving even closer to its borders by taking in Ukraine and Georgia.
Russian officials say their entry to NATO could lead to the
Date created : 2008-03-25