Poland welcomes future NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia

Other News Materials 5 April 2008 19:25 (UTC +04:00)

(dpa) - Leading Polish politicians welcomed NATO's promise that Georgia and Ukraine will be admitted to the alliance at some point in the future even though the former Soviet states were not offered Membership Action Plans (MAP), Polish media said Saturday.

President Lech Kaczynski called the summit's final declaration a "breakthrough," adding that NATO's aim to review the membership offer in December was making it "100-per-cent real."

At the summit, NATO decided that Ukraine and Georgia "will become" NATO members, but gave no timetable for the move. An assessment of the two countries' applications was to be made by NATO foreign ministers in December.

Responding to a question whether Germany and France - the main opponents against the countries' admission to NATO - had caved in to pressure from Russia, Kaczynski said, "I would never dare to say that our allies are bowing to pressure from Russia."

Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski said after the talks in Bucharest he believed that Ukraine's and Georgia's admission to NATO was "inevitable".

He believed Ukraine, Georgia and, as a result, also Poland had reason to be content, he said.

However, his predecessor Adam Daniel Rotfeld said the summit had been "neither a success, nor a defeat."

However, there was a "new quality" in the relations with NATO as a result of the promise to admit Kiev and Tbilisi.

Former US security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski said NATO's move was a "strategic victory and only a tactical defeat" for Ukraine and Georgia.

Both countries had received a clear promise, Brzezinski told the daily Rzeczpospolita Saturday.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is due to visit Poland next week, was quoted as saying in the daily Dziennik that he supported closer ties with Ukraine.