Russia cannot hamper the Ukraine and Georgian NATO membership, but can promote its delaying”, Jaap de Hoope Scheffer, NATO Secretary General told journalists in Brussels, according to Associated Press.

The Secretary General underlined that Russia was not participating in the NATO decision-making process and acknowledged that resisting to the integration of post-soviet countries into NATO. Moscow is playing certain role in this issue. “I think it is not a question of membership accomplishment, it is a question of its date”. Jaap de Hoop Scheffer didn’t rule out delay of giving the NATO candidate status to Georgia and Ukraine because of Russia’s stance. He said if even the process of integration of both countries into the military-political block was “frozen”, both Ukraine and Georgia would be seen as the possible candidates for NATO.

Kiev and Tbilisi are looking forward for the invitation to the NATO Membership Action Plan in Bucharest Summit on April 2. Despite US supports this issue, some countries, especially Germany and France are careful of that and consider that this step will deteriorate their relations with Russia.