"With only three weeks remaining for necessary damage repair prior to the NATO summit, the German government has perhaps irreparably damaged the Membership Action Plan (MAP) goals of Ukraine and Georgia. Chancellor Angela Merkel has turned down those two countries’ MAP candidacies, thereby following the lead of her number two in the government, Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier.... [From EDM]
"NATO has not yet decided whether to allow the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia to join the military alliance, its Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer was quoted on Wednesday as saying.
Asked when NATO plans to offer Ukraine and Georgia a Membership Action Plan, the first step to membership, Scheffer said: "We are debating on this issue."
"Remarks on this from the Moscow side have happened often. We treat our Russian partners seriously ... We must engage them in the discussion," he told the [Polish] daily 'Gazeta Wyborcza'.
And an article in 'Segodnya' : "President Yushchenko in Brussels announced that President George Bush will visit Ukraine on 1st April - [April fool's day, or "Day of Laughter" as it is called in Ukraine, ho,ho..]...
According to Yushchenko, a topic of discussion will be Ukraine's NATO Membership Action Plan.
The leading countries of West Europe (France and Germany) have already publicly expressed themselves against the inclusion of Ukraine to MAP [?] (the reasons being the majority of Ukrainians do not approve integration in NATO; and also the Europeans allegedly do not want to 'fall out' with Russia). However, USA continues to insist on Ukraine's membership, and is using all means to convince its Euro-allies to agree. The visit of Bush to Kyiv can be regarded as a powerful "preliminary artillery bombardment" prior to the Bucharest summit..."
LEvko thinks the European's attitude to Ukraine's MAP could provide a handy exit route for Ukraine's waverers..