Poland eyes German support for Ukraine`s NATO membership bid

17:43, 26 March 2008
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Warsaw hopes to convince Berlin

Polish President Lech Kaczynski is reportedly seeking German support for Ukraine`s NATO membership campaign, the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper said Wednesday.

      Warsaw hopes to convince Berlin to lift its veto on accepting Ukraine into the NATO action plan (MAP), the paper cited sources in the Polish Foreign Ministry.

      Poland had initially contemplated a trilateral summit meeting between Kaczynski, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Ukrainian Prime Minister Julia Timochenko, the report said.

      Earlier this month, Merkel had expressed scepticism over plans for an expansion of the western military alliance.

      Speaking at a meeting of top German military commanders in Berlin, Merkel said countries, involved in a regional conflict, could not become NATO members.

      She was alluding to countries like Georgia and Ukraine which are pressing to become membership candidates at the upcoming NATO summit in the Romanian capital Bucharest in early April.

      The issue has become subject of heated debate in the western military pact as many NATO states fear to incur Russia`s wrath.

      Moscow has warned Georgia and Ukraine of joining NATO, labeling it a "provocation".

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