Sunday, November 30, 2008

NATO meets, Russia watches...

NATO foreign ministers will be meeting in Brussels this week. The agenda will be dominated by the recent Georgia-Russia crisis and the issue of extending Membership Action Plans (MAP) to Georgia and Ukraine. A MAP commits an aspiring applicant country to certain reforms in order to meet NATO specific standards before being admitted into the alliance.

Three important things to keep in mind this week. The first is that Ukraine and Georgia will be undertaking a tremendous backdoor diplomatic initiative to try to persuade NATO members to grant them the MAP. The second is the reaction of Russia to any potential NATO decision. The third is the way in which the U.S. will play this time around. Will it soften its push for NATO enlargement so as not to further deteriorate its relations with Moscow, or will it try to play the realpolitik card and press for expansion to Russia's borders?

* Here is an opinion peace published by the Ukrainian President in the International Herald Tribune this week outlining his opinions on the matter.

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