Position of France and Germany on Ukraine and Georgia’s Entrance to NATO Testifies Revival of Axe of Influence of Paris-Berlin-Moscow: Experts

Ukraine, Kiev, 3 April /corr. Trend Z.Novozotovski, N.Kirskhalia / The position of France and Germany regarding Ukraine and Georgia's joining the NATO Membership Action Plan (MAP) testifies revival of the axe of influence of Paris-Berlin-Moscow, said Ukrainian expert said.

Already before the Bucharest summit, France and Germany supported the severe position of Russia, which is against the admission of the post-Soviet countries to NATO. No consensus was reached at the summit on 3 April to present MAP to them.

"The action of Germany and France against Ukraine and Georgia's entrance to NATO testifies revival of the axe of influence of Paris-Berlin-Moscow. These countries gave preference to the geo-political interests of Russia, but not Euro-Atlantic security. I think that as long as their intentions are firm enough, Ukraine will have a very little chances to join the MAP," Ukrainian expert of Foreign Policy Institute of Diplomatic Academy of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, Grigori Perepelitsa, reported to Trend on 3 April.

The expert considers that the explanations which are made especially by France say that generally there is no need to admit Ukraine to NATO as long as it breaks the balance of forces between Europe and Russia. "Practically, this subtext says that Russian could achieve victory in spreading its influence in Europe with the help of Germany and France," the expert said. "It is strengthening prospect for Ukraine and Georgia. If such dissemination of the influence coverage will take place, it will be recognition that the post-Soviet countries are 'Russian courtyard' where the influence of the West is absent," he said.

The Georgian expert Ramaz Sakvarelidze considers that the position fight between the USA and Europe, with regards to Georgia and Ukraine's receiving the MAP during the NATO Bucharest summit, will possibly complete with preparation of a document which will not provide MAP to Georgia and Ukraine, but one more step will be added to join NATO. "Such development of the events is caused by the position of the US President George Bush who considers that Georgia and Ukraine are prepared to receive MAP, as well as by the statements of the German Chancellor that these countries are not prepared for it," Georgian politician, Sakvarelidze, told Trend on 3 April.

According to him, like the USA, Europe also supports efforts of Georgia and Ukraine to join NATO. "Sooner or later it will take place. However, the USA tries to accelerate this so that the White House adds one more achievement in expanding the Alliance," Sakvarelidze said.

"Europe of course will not cite concrete reasons and it can attribute it to the conflicts in case of Georgia and to the law indicator of population's support in case of Ukraine," Sakravalidzeh said. He also stated that the U.S. takes advantage of the situation to exert pressure on Germany and France to make them to change their mind. "The White House is stubborn enough and can dictate its decision and Kosovo can serve as an example to it," the expert said.

The perspectives of possible membership of Georgia and Ukraine in NATO are good, but the process of admission process will take more than ususal in case of new member including Albania, Macedonia and Croatia, said Asle Toje, the Norwegian expert. "Therefore, the talk of taking in Georgia and Ukraine looks to me like building an annex on a house that is on fire," Asle Toje, Senior FellowNorwegian Institute for Defence Studies (IFS) said to Trend .

According to Toje, key NATO allies found that they simply did not want to add this to the list of issues where Russia and the West are in disagreement. "The US is the main security provider in the alliance: Therefore the opinion of Washington is a decisive factor. American commitment is illustrated by President Bush's visit to Kiev just before the Bucharest Summit," the expert said.

At the top of the list of issues that could work against the applicants, one is the internal divisions in the Ukraine and territorial disputes of Georgia in South Ossetia and Abkhazia as well as the turbulent internal political situation in that country, the expert said.

Russia is concerned about the NATO enlargement to the East and opposes the granting of MAP to Georgia and Ukraine. Germany and France also oppose Georgia's and Ukraine's admission to NATO and they believe it can distort the balance of forces in Europe.

The correspondent can be contacted at: [email protected]

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