No link between NATO bids and missile defense: Bush

12:29, 01 April 2008
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Bush said he had made that clear to Russian President Putin

President George W. Bush said on Tuesday there was no link between bids by ex-Soviet Ukraine and Georgia to begin the process of joining NATO and plans to deploy a U.S. missile defense system in Europe, Reuters report.

"That is a misperception," Bush said after talks in Kiev. "I strongly believe that Ukraine and Georgia should be given MAP (Membership Action Plans) and there`s no tradeoffs. Period."

Bush said he had made that clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Russia opposes the bid by both ex-Soviet states to seek long-term NATO membership and has also criticized U.S. plans to deploy interceptor rockets and a radar in Poland and the Czech Republic.

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