Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

#THE 51%

Gender equality in the classroom: A delicate, balancing act

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Paris, world tattoo capital

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Fair play won't stop Putin - it's time for sterner stuff'

Read more

FOCUS

Russia after Nemtsov: A dying opposition

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Boko Haram crisis: Chadian President calls on militants' leader to surrender

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Europe on the road to recovery

Read more

YOU ARE HERE

The secrets of fashion design

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Facebook versus French courts

Read more

DEBATE

Coughing dragon? China's growth slows amid credit crunch fears (part 2)

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)