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One month ahead of the downing of MH-17 Malaysian aircraft above the hot warzone of Eastern Ukraine ... refusal to send out an official IATA alert to civilian aircraft to avoid Donetsk region overall.

NATO will not offer Georgia membership step, avoiding Russia clash | Reuters - June 25, 2014 |

NATO members agreed in principle to draw up a "substantive package" of cooperation with Georgia that would help it move closer to NATO, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen told reporters at a meeting of alliance foreign ministers.

But that falls short of an invitation to join NATO's Membership Action Plan (MAP) - a formal step towards membership - that Georgia, which fought a brief war with Russia in 2008, had hoped for.

Putting Georgia on a path to NATO membership would have angered Russia, which is deeply hostile to the Western military alliance advancing into former Soviet republics, and some allies feared it could provoke Russian retaliation.

Welcoming Georgia into the alliance would mean NATO could be obliged to go to its defence in the event of another war with Russia.

And with NATO-Russia tensions running high after Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region, any invitation to Georgia to join the MAP has become even more of a political hot potato. Russia, which has said that its annexation of Crimea in March was influenced by the Western military alliance's expansion into eastern Europe, has made no secret of its opposition to its neighbour Georgia joining NATO. Although Rasmussen insisted that "NATO's door remains open" to new members and that no other country had a veto over NATO enlargement, NATO diplomats said the standoff over Ukraine did influence the debate.

Some allies, particularly in the Baltics and eastern Europe, said NATO should send a tough message to Moscow by inviting Georgia to join the MAP - a programme of advice, assistance and support tailored to countries wishing to join the alliance.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Aug 27th, 2023 at 09:14:29 AM EST

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