Archive for the ‘NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer’ Category

NATO checks Ukraine progress amid Russia objections

November 13, 2008

NATO, meeting on Russia’s doorstep, held talks with Ukraine Friday to assess its progress toward membership of the alliance, but prospects for a promised entry action plan were dim.

Ukraine's Minister of Defence Yurii Yekhanurov speaks during ... 
Ukraine’s Minister of Defence Yurii Yekhanurov speaks during the informal high-level NATO-Ukraine consultations in Tallinn November 13, 2008.(Ints Kalnins/Reuters)

Russia deeply opposes Ukraine‘s efforts to join NATO, while opinion polls show only about a third of Ukrainians support it. Ukraine’s domestic political turmoil has made NATO hesitant, though the alliance has said Ukraine, and Georgia, will one day be members.

By Patrick Lannin and David Morgan, Reuters

“A country’s right to freely choose its security alignments is another important principle in this regard and a test for a Europe we all seek to build,” said NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, referring to Russia’s objections.

The talks were being held in the capital of Estonia, another former Soviet state, which entered NATO in 2004, breaking away from its powerful neighbor to the east.

Speaking at the start of the talks in which NATO was to assess Ukraine’s security and defense reforms, the NATO chief also took a fresh swipe at Russia for recognizing breakaway Georgian regions South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

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