Ukraine is the first country to be visited by US President George W. Bush during his trip to Europe starting March 31, US National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley told a news briefing in Washington DC. The President will visit Ukraine "to celebrate the democratic transition that has taken hold in the country since the 2004 Orange Revolution," the White House official told. Cabinet's press office reports.
During his meetings with the Ukrainian President, the Prime Minister, the Speaker and the leader of the opposition Mr. Bush will "express his support for the aspirations of the people of Ukraine to see their country take its rightful place within Europe, including within its transatlantic institutions, as Ukraine continues its process of reform," the US National Security Advisor said.
Mr. Hadley confirmed that during the NATO Summit in Bucharest to be held April 2-4 the Alliance's member countries will take a decision on whether Ukraine and Georgia should be invited to join the NATO Membership Action Plan. Moreover, President Bush will participate in the meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission within the summit's framework April 4.
The US President believes that NATO would benefit from Georgia's and Ukraine's membership and that these nations would benefit from being a part of NATO, the US National Security Advisor said.
"The Alliance will reach out to Georgia and Ukraine, making clear that NATO is open to all democracies in Europe that meet the standards of membership," Mr. Hadley underlined, adding that the MAP is the strongest NATO vehicle to help Georgia and Ukraine prepare for membership.
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