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#22 - JRL 2008-217 - JRL Home
Georgia, Ukraine's NATO bids still a problem to Russia
December 1, 2008

Moscow (Interfax) - Russia should not relax over NATO's decision to postpone the granting of its Membership Action Plan (MAP) to Ukraine and Georgia, deputy head of the Institute for USA and Canada Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences Pavel Zolotaryov told Interfax on Monday.

"Russia should not relax over the postponement of those two countries' accession to MAP. NATO's aim to take Georgia and Ukraine is still in place," he said.

At present, the Ukrainian leadership "is doing its best to change people's moods", the expert said, adding that "enormous resources" have been invested in those efforts. He did not rule out outside aid.

In Zolotaryov's opinion, "the problem of the post-Soviet space remains the most acute and sensitive one in Russian-U.S. relations".

He said he believes Washington's policy towards spreading its influence to post-Soviet republics while simultaneously ousting Russia will obviously persist under the new White House Administration but in a more elaborate way as compared to the Bush team.

Differences in the post-Soviet space promise to be the main irritant in Russian-U.S. relations, the expert concluded.