Eastern Europe

  • Ukraine's president rules out hosting NATO bases

    From RIA Novosti: Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko said on Sunday that Ukraine will not host foreign military bases, and its territory will not be used against Russia, when the country joins NATO.

    "Ukraine guarantees that there will be no foreign soldiers of any bloc or any country. This is implied by the Constitution of Ukraine and Ukraine's Law on the Fundamentals of Security," Yushchenko said."

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  • U.S.-led "Sea Breeze" Combined Exercise Canceled in Ukraine

    From the Jamestown Foundation: On June 22 Ukrainian Naval Headquarters confirmed unofficially that the country's political deadlock has doomed the multinational military exercise Sea Breeze-2009. According to the Ukrainian headquarters sources, the U.S. Armed Forces European Command (EUCOM) and the U.S. Sixth Fleet notified Ukraine's defense ministry on June 17 officially that foreign military units had to cancel their participation because the Ukrainian parliament failed to authorize the entry of such units on the national territory for Sea Breeze-2009 (UNIAN, Ukrayinska Pravda, June 22) . . .

    Sea Breeze is a joint and combined naval, ground, and air exercise, U.S.-led and mainly U.S.-financed, lasting two weeks in July. It normally involves more than 2,000 military personnel from about fifteen NATO members and partner countries by invitation . . .

    Although originating in the overall framework of NATO's Partnership for Peace program, Sea Breeze is not a NATO exercise. It is, rather, a joint Ukraine-U.S. exercise, to which other countries are invited to participate. Oblivious to such distinctions, local protesters and their handlers use the opportunity to demonize NATO.

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  • NATOSource: State Department view of the future of Ukraine and Georgia in NATO

    Statement by Philip H. Gordon, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, before the Subcommittee on Europe of the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

    From U.S. Department of State: "The United States strongly supports the right of both Ukraine and Georgia to pursue their membership aspirations in NATO. To achieve NATO membership, both countries must complete rigorous reforms to meet NATO’s performance-based standards. Under the auspices of the NATO-Ukraine and NATO-Georgia Commissions, Allies, including the United States, are working with both countries to provide concrete advice, assistance, and practical support to help guide these efforts."

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  • U.S. expert says Ukraine's joining NATO won't guarantee support in case of military intervention

    From Kyiv Post: "A senior fellow at the Cato Institute (Washington, the United States), Doug Bandow, has said that Ukraine's joining NATO will not guarantee the country full-scale protection in the case of any military attack.

    'The fundamental question during Ukraine's accession to NATO is how much such an action would really ensure the country's security. This will most likely bring tension in relations with Russia, but the question remains unclear how much Ukraine could really hope for support from alliance members,' he said at a roundtable entitled 'NATO, U.S. Influence, and Ukraine's Elections' in Kyiv on Tuesday."

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  • Azerbaijan: Baku Can Leapfrog over Ukraine, Georgia for NATO Membership

    From eurasianet.org: "A senior source within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Joint Force Command has told EurasiaNet that Azerbaijan stands a better chance of gaining NATO membership in the near future than either Georgia or Ukraine.
    'Earlier, the perception in both Brussels [North Atlantic Treaty Organization [NATO] headquarters] and Baku was that Georgia should integrate into NATO first and Azerbaijan should follow,' the source said. 'However, the situation has changed and it might be that in the year to come Azerbaijan will become the frontrunner. Baku may enter NATO earlier than Ukraine and Georgia.'"

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  • Atlantic Council Expands Ukraine Program

    Ukraine-North America Dialogue, New Corruption Report Launched

    Washington, D.C. — The Atlantic Council of the United States recently launched the Ukraine-North America Dialogue as well as a new report on corruption in Ukraine that will be published this autumn.  In only two months, the Ukraine-North America Dialogue has become an important forum for promoting the frank exchange of views on Ukrainian politics between policymakers and opinion leaders from both sides of the Atlantic.

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  • Ukraine: A Delicate Balancing Act

    Russia has always had a knack for overshadowing its neighbors - and this time the West, focused on Moscow, is distracted from a crisis in Ukraine. As U.S. President Barack Obama gears up to "reset" Russia relations, Ukraine is in disarray. The country is teetering between economic collapse, Russian influence, and vague promises of Western support. It will take decisive moves from Washington to help pull Ukraine back from the edge. At the least, Obama should visit ailing Ukraine and prove that good relations with Russia don't meant forgetting the rest of the region.
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  • Putin to the West: Hands off Ukraine

    From TIME: "In April 2008, a source told Russia's Kommersant newspaper how Putin described Ukraine to George Bush at a NATO meeting in Bucharest: 'You don't understand, George, that Ukraine is not even a state. What is Ukraine? Part of its territories is Eastern Europe, but the greater part is a gift from us.'"

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  • Schroeder: NATO must stop Ukraine, Georgia accession game

    Critique from former NATO Secretary General Gerhard Schroeder.

    From Kyiv Post: "'When NATO holds a military drill in Georgia - just recently a theater of war, sparked by no one knows who - it's utter stupidity. The Alliance must promote the discussion with Russia instead of encouraging the adventurist Saakashvili,' said Schroeder." (via Georgian Daily)

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  • NATO-Ukraine format meeting held in Warsaw

    A small step forward in NATO/Ukraine relations.

    From defpro.com: "Within the framework of NATO-Ukraine cooperation the meeting of Joint Working Group on Defence Reform (JWGDR) and planning conference on the program of development of civilian staff employed in the defence sector is being held on 13th-15th May 09, as reported by Poland's Ministry of National Defence.

    Directors of defence policy departments of NATO member states, partner countries and institutions, such as: Geneva Centre for Democratic Control of Armed Forces and Royal Institute of International Affairs (Chatham House) as well as counselors on defence issues from the Ukrainian Ministry of Defence and General Staff participate in the meeting co-chaired by Assistant Secretary General for Defence Policy and Planning Jiry Sedivy and first dpty of the Secretary of the Ukrainian Council of National Security Stepan Havrysz. The goals of the conference will be the assessment of the Ukraine’s way to the integration with NATO structures and its development in security and defence sectors. The talks will concern, among others, the state of implementation of Ukraine’s Annual National Plan and projects run under the Group auspices. This meeting is of great significance for the future of NATO-Ukraine’s cooperation.
    This is the first JWGDR meeting on that level organized by a NATO member. Thus far, the sittings were held in Brussels or in Ukraine."

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