A NATO Path for Ukraine and Georgia

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In his Oct. 20 op-ed, "Russia Unromanticized," John R. Bolton called for NATO to "reverse" its Bucharest summit decision on Ukraine and Georgia. I agree with Mr. Bolton's conclusion, but NATO doesn't have to "reverse" anything.

Here's why: In Bucharest, NATO gave Ukraine and Georgia political "guarantees" that they would receive NATO membership, an extraordinary and unique position from NATO. Now is the time for NATO to follow up on its promise and give the two countries the first step in the process, membership action plans (MAP). The plans have no time limits. Granting MAPs to the two countries would be the beginning of the process. The question is not, as some have said, whether Ukraine and Georgia are ready for NATO. The question is whether NATO is ready for Ukraine and Georgia.

On that point at least Ukraine has been a more active partner in recent NATO activities than have been a number of NATO members.



The writer is co-founder of the U.S.-Ukraine Foundation, which encourages democratic development, free-market reform and human rights in Ukraine.

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