AP reports that “President Bush on Wednesday [in Bucharest, Romania] renewed urgent calls for NATO to start the admission process for Ukraine and Georgia despite a split among alliance members and fierce Russian objections.” Bush was just in Ukraine and is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin in Russia on April 6.
Sen. TINY KOX
Kox is a senator in the Dutch Parliament and a member of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. He said today: “NATO, dominated by the U.S., is developing into a dangerous aggressive global military intervention force, whereas the world is in need of a new, better-balanced global security architecture in order to prevent and tackle new threats, crises, conflicts and wars. … We support NATO Secretary General De Hoop Scheffer’s call for a broad public and parliamentary debate on NATO’s role in the future, a new Atlantic Charter and a new strategic concept.”
Director of the Institute for Globalization and Social Movements in Moscow, Kagarlitsky’s books include Restoration in Russia: Why Capitalism Failed and Empire of the Periphery: Russia and the World System. He was arrested under Brezhnev and under Yeltsin for his political activism.
He said today: “Last Sunday when I was in Kiev (Ukraine), I’ve learned that for local bureaucrats the visit of G.W. Bush seemed to be like a natural disaster: ‘You have to get ready in advance, it leads to disorder and broken windows and in the end leaves everybody unhappy…'”
Senior program associate at the Arms and Security Project of the New America Foundation, Berrigan said today: “President George W. Bush has multiple agendas as he travels through old and new Europe; one of his more provocative and alarming is the push for access to Polish and Czech territory for the multibillion-dollar ‘ballistic missile defense’ program.
“Europeans are wise to be wary of a program that costs U.S. taxpayers more than $8 billion a year, has not been adequately tested and so far does not work, fans international tensions and locks in an every-nation-for-itself approach to nuclear proliferation.”
Background: “In February 1990, after talks with West Germany’s foreign minister, Secretary of State James Baker had assured Gorbachev and Shevardnadze that ‘NATO’s jurisdiction would not shift one inch eastward from its present position.’ The [first] Bush administration began backing away from that pledge almost immediately. The Clinton administration reneged on that commitment altogether when it decided to expand NATO to Eastern Europe. …
“‘The issue is not just whether Czechs, Hungarians and Poles join NATO. The problem is more serious: the rejection of the strategy for a new, common European system agreed to by myself and all the Western leaders when we ended the cold war,’ Mikhail Gorbachev wrote in March 1999. ‘I feel betrayed by the West. The opportunity we seized on behalf of peace has been lost. The whole idea of a new world order has been completely abandoned.'”
— From Hang Separately: Cooperative Security Between the United States and Russia, 1985-1994 by Leon V. Sigal, The Century Foundation Press, 2000.