Russia to increase security if Georgia, Ukraine join NATOApril 11th, 2008 - 7:30 pm ICT by admin
Moscow, April 11 (RIA Novosti) Russia will increase its military presence along its borders if Georgia and Ukraine join NATO, the country’s top commander said Friday. “Russia will take measures to ensure its security near the state border. These will be both military and other measures,” General Yury Baluyevsky, chief of the general staff, said.
At a summit in Bucharest last Thursday, NATO members decided to postpone initiating the Membership Action Plan, which is a preliminary step to full membership, for Georgia and Ukraine, but promised to review the decision in December.
When asked about the possible measures Moscow has on mind to take, Baluyevsky said: “We will wait, as the issue is ambiguous.”
“Ukrainians are unanimously against Ukraine joining NATO,” he said, adding that in Georgia about 70 percent of the population is in favour of membership, but there is still time and this could change.
NATO’s eastward expansion, as well as US plans to deploy components of an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic, have been a source of concern for Moscow.
Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin told a news conference after meeting leaders of the 26-nation alliance on the sidelines of the Bucharest summit that “the appearance on our borders of a powerful military bloc… will be considered by Russia as a direct threat to our country’s security”.
The issue of Ukraine’s drive for NATO will be discussed among other issues between Ukrainian Foreign Minister Volodymyr Ohryzko and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow April 15.