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1 Dec, 2008 15:28

Ukraine and Georgia NATO dream postponed

Ukraine and Georgia will eventually join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, but they have a “long road” ahead to meet the entry criteria, says US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, according to AFP reports.

The statement was made just a day before NATO foreign ministers meet in Brussels, where they are likely to back away from offering the two states a fast-track process to join the military alliance.

During a joint media conference in London with British Foreign Secretary David Miliband, Rice said: “Georgia and Ukraine will be members of NATO.”

“We believe strongly in NATO’s open-door policy that states that are prepared for NATO membership and can assume the responsibilities therein should be welcomed into the organisation,” she continued.

“But there is a long road ahead for both Georgia and Ukraine to reach those standards. The United States stands resolutely for those standards, meaning that there should be no shortcuts to membership of NATO. No one wants to see a circumstance in which Ukraine and Georgia are shut out,” Rice added.