Saturday

26th Sep 2020

Diplomatic tussle over Georgia and Ukraine NATO bids

Germany and other western European states are attempting to block Georgia and Ukraine from getting the green light to join NATO out of a fear of antagonising Russia.

Citing diplomatic sources, German daily Financial Times Deutschland says that a group of western countries do not want Tbilisi and Kiev to get candidate status for membership of the military alliance, something they are due to receive at a high-level summit in Bucharest next week.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

At the 2-4 April meeting, Georgia and Ukraine are hoping to get approval for their membership action plans (MAP). This would be considered as a signal that their application bid is on the right track.

The camp of blocking states is said to include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal and Luxembourg.

A fear of annoying Russia which is categorically against its two neighbours joining a military organisation to which it does not belong is behind the move.

Earlier in the week, incoming Russian president Dmitry Medvedev said in a Financial Times interview that Moscow was "not happy" with the situation.

"We consider that it is extremely troublesome for the existing structure of European security," he said.

The move by Germany and France and others puts them in the path of US president George W. Bush, who is in favour of Ukraine and Georgia joining NATO. Eastern EU member states such as Poland are also lobbying in favour of Tbilisi's and Kiev's membership.

Berlin opposition stems from a desire to keep talks on a compromise between Russia and the US on Washington's planned missile defence shield - to be placed in Poland and the Czech Republic and strongly opposed by Moscow - on track.

Meanwhile, Georgia has called on NATO not to bow to pressure from Russia.

Foreign minister David Bakradze said it would inflame tensions in the region if Moscow gets its way on this issue.

"'No' in Bucharest will be very clearly seen by some people in Moscow as their success, and it will be very clearly seen in Moscow that they have indirect veto right on NATO decisions," he said on Wednesday (26 March).

From all our experience with Russians, the most effective policy with Russians is policy based on principles, not on appeasement," he added.

New Russian leader warns Europe over NATO expansion

Incoming Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that expansion of NATO to include Ukraine and Georgia would affect Europe's security. The two Russian neighbours' ambition to join the Western military bloc is due to be discussed by NATO leaders in April.

Analysis

China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US

China's pledge to become carbon neutral before 2060 is "good news" for Europe, but it sends a clear message to Washington ahead of the US election - in which climate change has become a significant aspect for voters.

Opinion

Why no EU progress on Black Lives Matter?

Months after Black Lives Matter erupted, for many EU decision-makers the problems of racism in policing and criminal legal systems - the issues that sparked the George Floyd protests - are still 'over there', across the Atlantic.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  2. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US
  3. Far right using pandemic to win friends in Germany
  4. Visegrad countries immediately push back on new migration pact
  5. Why no EU progress on Black Lives Matter?
  6. EU migration pact to deter asylum
  7. 'Era of EU naivety ends', MEP pledges on foreign meddling
  8. Anti-mask protesters pose challenge for EU authorities

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us