Global Politics

Ukraine worries about Russian aggression

In Ukraine, this meeting of defense ministers is huge news because in this country, NATO signifies more than just a military pact. A person's attitude towards NATO can define their attitude towards much of the world. Ukraine's Defense Minister says certain events have made the world less stable today, and by �events� he means the war between Georgia and Russia. He and the Ukrainian President are convinced the country must join NATO or it will be at risk. But a new survey conducted last month suggests those in favor of joining NATO are in the minority. When you ask people why they're against NATO membership, many say they don't want Ukrainian soldiers serving overseas in conflict zones like Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Ukraine already is sending troops to Afghanistan and Kosovo. This analyst says there's a deeper reason for unease too�that people realize NATO membership could provoke Russia and bring about an imbalance in Eastern-Western relations in Ukraine. Moscow has consistently said that it regards Ukrainian membership to NATO as unacceptable and has threatened military action if it does. This politician says any suggestion of military conflict over NATO is anti-Russian propaganda. While the Bush administration has been vocal in its support for Ukraine, France and Germany have been less keen. For one thing, Europe is heavily reliant on Russia for its gas supplies and some fear these could be jeopardized by antagonizing Russia. This analyst says Obama is good news for those who want to see Russia pacified.

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