Lellouche: In 1997, Moscow Promised not to Hinder New States…

AZG Armenian Daily #107, 10/06/2006

Europe

PIERRE LELLOUCHE: IN 1997, MOSCOW PROMISED NOT TO HINDER NEW STATES TO
BECOME NATO MEMBERS

Pierre Lellouche, Chairman of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, has
stated recently that the negative statements about Ukraine’s probable
membership to NATO made by RF foreign minister and deputies of Russian
State Duma break the NATO-Russia agreement signed in 1997.

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov told journalists that if Ukraine and
Georgia become NATO members, “a great geopolitical change will take
place.” He added that Russia will consider that membership from the
viewpoint of its security, its economic interests and the relations of
its beneficial partners.

Commenting on the statement of Sergey Lavrov, Mr. Lellouche said in
the interview with the Ukrainian BBC that he isn’t surprised at
all. “But I will point out one contradiction. The Russia-NATO
agreement signed in 1997 envisages the right of all the European
countries to chose allies, become members of other organizations quite
independently,” he said.

Lellouche stated that the Western states are aware that Russia doesn’t
like enlargement of NATO. “But I don’t understand how can Russia
hinder Ukraine’s membership to NATO without applying the approaches of
the “cold war,” he said.

By Petros Keshishian

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