Friday, April 4, 2008

more NATO news

It is interesting to note the varying headlines, with regards to this latest NATO summit.

If I had to call, the winner in this summit, it was Putin's Russia. With Mr Bush really going home very nearly empty handed.

The fact that NATO said no, to the inclusion of Georgia and the Ukraine is pretty significant.
The Bush government had wanted these countries included, and had indeed pushed for it to happen, though it was reported that , this push would lead to divsions with in NATO. Sure enough, the cracks did appear. Two big cracks were Germany and France.

Germany and France are among the western European countries that have spoken out against granting Ukraine a so-called Membership Action Plan (MAP), a key step toward potential membership.

With good reason, as they could find themselves with out gas and oil.

So it would seem that other then the push for admission by the US, and of course the leaders of the two countries, that there wasn't alot of support for these NATO admissions.
There certainly was no support for this move from Russia.

In fact, Putin made this quite clear at a press conference when he said "A powerful bloc at our borders will be seen by Russia as a direct threat to our security,"

So it would seem that Russia, for now, is likely pleased with the results.
Russia did make a concession to NATO. President Putin agreed to let NATO ship non-lethal equipment and supplies through Russian territory to Afghanistan, where the alliance is engaged at this time , including Canada.

How about President Bush and the US?

The allies did give President Bush a symbolic boost heading into his own one-on-one talks with Putin this weekend at the Russian resort city of Sochi. The leaders approved a communique endorsing Bush's plan to build a missile defense shield in Eastern Europe despite Putin's vociferous objections, and called on the Russians to join an integrated system.

Well it is a symbolic boost , but what will it translate to down the road?

It is interesting to note this:

NATO turned off the microphones and ushered out reporters before Putin gave his opening address, even though they had been allowed to hear Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko's speech at a separate session earlier in the day. Russian Ambassador Dmitry Rogozin had complained bitterly before the summit that the plan to not let reporters hear Putin's address amounted to Western censorship of unwelcome viewpoints.

Hopefully we can find Putin's speech and read what he said that could not be reported on.

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