At key time, French resist NATO membership for Ukraine, Georgia
Nov. 30, 2010, 12:31 p.m. | Ukraine
— by Staff reports
A senior French government adviser told the United States in 2008 that it would “not have a great appetite” for offering Ukraine an action plan for membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
According to a U.S. diplomatic cable published by the WikiLeaks website, Philippe Errera, strategic affairs adviser to then-French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner, told Joseph Wood, deputy assistant to the U.S. vice president for national security affairs, that offering a Membership Action Plan (MAP) would be a “serious decision” because of NATO’s Article 5, which treats attack on one member as an attack on all.
He added that “NATO may not be ready for Article 5 guarantees to Georgia either.”
Wood responded that France’s “hesitation regarding Article 5 commitments implies a de facto ‘sphere of influence,’ because Russia is the only possible menace to Ukraine or Georgia.”
The exchange, dated January 2008, shows the divergence of views between leading NATO members ahead of the organization’s summit in Bucharest in April that year.
As a result of the summit, both Ukraine and Georgia were told they “will become members of NATO” but were not offered a MAP or given a concrete date.
Then-Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko attempts to gain a MAP were strongly backed by U.S. counterpart George W. Bush, but resistance was reportedly met from France and Germany.