Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • ‘European GPS’ satellites launched into wrong orbit

    Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev as aid convoy ‘returns to Russia’

    Read more

  • France will not be 'be pushed around' by Germany

    Read more

  • Suicide bomber targets Iraq intelligence HQ in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Video: Israel bombs kidnapping suspect’s home

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Ebola prompts Philippines to recall UN troops in Liberia

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • US sued over ‘deportation mill’ in New Mexico

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels in face-to-face talks

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Ferguson

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • US job market yet to recover from recession, says Fed Chair

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Medvedev 'not happy' with NATO expansion

Latest update : 2008-03-25

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".

 

MOSCOW, March 25 (Reuters) - Russian president-elect Dmitry Medvedev maintained pressure on NATO on Tuesday not to grant membership to Ukraine and Georgia, saying a week before an alliance summit that it would undermine European security.

 

NATO leaders meeting in Bucharest from April 2-4 are expected to consider requests by the two former Soviet republics’ pro-Western leaders to put their countries on the path to membership.

 

“We are not happy about the situation around Georgia and Ukraine,” Medvedev told the Financial Times in an interview.

 

“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.”

 

Ukraine and Georgia are lobbying NATO to grant them a Membership Action Plan (MAP), which is seen as the first step towards joining the alliance. Washington has said it backs their bid, but some NATO members in Europe are cool on the idea.

 

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 Georgia or Ukraine.

 

Bush is due to visit Ukraine before the summit and met Georgia’s president for talks in Washington last week. He said after those talks that he backed closer ties between Georgia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

 

Speaking in his first interview since he won a March 2 presidential election, Medvedev questioned why Ukraine was seeking NATO membership when a large part of the population, mostly in the Russian-speaking east, opposed the idea.

 

“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.

 

Russia was powerless during the 1990s to prevent NATO expanding to include a number of eastern European states which during Soviet rule had been in Moscow’s sphere of influence.

 

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 United States stationing elements of its nuclear arsenal on Ukrainian or Georgian soil, threatening Russia’s security and upsetting the delicate strategic balance.

Date created : 2008-03-25

COMMENT(S)