Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Looks like there's a NATO in Ukraine's future

By Aussiegirl

BBC reports that NATO hopes look good for Ukraine.

Read more:

Nato has hinted to Ukraine that its hopes of joining the transatlantic alliance could be fulfilled.

Nato's Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Nato was open to democracies that met the membership criteria. But he set no target date.

Ukraine's new liberal president, Viktor Yushchenko, met Nato leaders including US President George W Bush at a summit in Brussels on Tuesday.

He told them he would like Ukraine to be integrated into the EU and Nato.

Earlier Mr Bush, who had a brief face-to-face meeting with Mr Yushchenko, called upon his European allies to welcome Ukraine "into the Euro-Atlantic" family.

And this from the White House press release:

President and Secretary General de Hoop Scheffer Discuss NATO Meeting Joseph Luns Press Theatre
NATO Headquarters
Belgium, Brussels
2:45 P.M. (Local)

... Of course, let me come back to Ukraine this morning. There is strong support, strong support, first of all, for NATO's bottom line, which is NATO has an open door for those European democracies who fulfill the obligations, strong support for giving President Yushchenko, in his challenging endeavor to bring Ukraine closer to Euro-Atlantic integration, to support him in that respect.

... So the discussions were fruitful. The Ukraine -- the meeting with President Yushchenko was, I thought, historic. I thought it was really interesting, to be sitting next to a person -- the Secretary General put me right next to President Yushchenko -- who had just led a revolution, a peaceful revolution, based upon the same values that we hold dear. And it was a remarkable moment, I thought.
And we -- at least in my intervention, and other interventions, we welcomed President Yushchenko, and reminded him that NATO is a performance-based organization, and that the door is open, but it's up to President Yushchenko and his government and the people of Ukraine to adapt the institutions of a democratic state. And NATO wants to help, and we pledged help. I pledged my own government's help to a fund that will help get rid of Madpads -- MANPADS, and certain different types of weapons. In other words, the country has got work to do, but we want to help them achieve that work. It was a remarkable moment. I appreciate you inviting him, Jaap, to come.


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