Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Suspected Boko Haram militants killed in police raid in N'Djanmena

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Is Alexis Tsipras playing with fire?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Countdown to Grexit : Will Greek crisis trigger unwinding of the Euro? (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Countdown to Grexit : Will Greek crisis trigger unwinding of the Euro? (part 1)

Read more

FOCUS

Chimpanzees suffer collateral damage from increased poaching

Read more

ENCORE!

Dom La Nena brings us international, cello pop

Read more

REPORTERS

Kenya's vicious circle: Terrorism and counter-terrorism

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

EU Competition Commissioner says 'protecting integrity of single market'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Yemen is on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe'

Read more

French minister opposed to Georgia's NATO bid

Text by AFP

Latest update : 2008-10-23

Jean-Pierre Jouyet, French secretary of state for European affairs, declared he was personally opposed to Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO because it was "not the right time" and "not in Europe's interest".

France's minister for European affairs on Wednesday said he was opposed to Georgia and Ukraine entering the NATO military alliance for now because it would not benefit Europe.

"I think that it is not the right time for membership for Georgia and Ukraine," Jean-Pierre Jouyet said on the sidelines of a European Parliament session.

"It is not in the interests of Europe or its relations with Russia."

NATO foreign ministers are in December set to once again examine Georgia and Ukraine's candidacy for membership, strongly denounced by Moscow.

While Jouyet said he was expressing his personal opinion, he in fact confirmed a view repeatedly expressed by Paris.

Along with Germany, France has been reluctant to take the two ex-Soviet states into the alliance and draw the wrath of Russia, which has made it clear it would regard such a move as something close to a hostile action by NATO.

US President George W. Bush pushed hard at a NATO summit in Bucharest last April in favour of membership for Georgia and Ukraine.

However, NATO refused at the summit to grant Ukraine and Georgia "Membership Action Plan" (MAP) status after French and German opposition, though leaders agreed on a statement saying "that these countries will become members of NATO."

According to Paris and Berlin, the conflict this summer between Georgia and Russia had only confirmed the risk of taking Tbilisi into the alliance.

Russia launched a military attack on Georgia on August 8 in response to a Georgian military offensive to take the rebel region of South Ossetia back under government control.

Date created : 2008-10-22

COMMENT(S)