William J. Burns, the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, told Senate hearings in the U.S. Congress on Wednesday that there was no talk of immediate NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine because none of the two countries were ready to join the alliance yet, according to Itar-Tass.

At the same time, he emphasized that the U.S. administration would seek the inclusion of the two former Soviet republics in the Membership Action Plan (MAP). Its aim is to assist those countries, which wish to join the Alliance in their preparations.

Mr. Burns paid special attention to the fact that the MAP shouldn’t be regarded as an invitation to join NATO or a promise of future membership for Ukraine or Georgia.

The U.S. under secretary of state admitted that some U.S. partners in Europe, including France and Germany, have objections to Kiev’s and Tbilisi’s accession to the Membership Action Plan (MAP). The NATO foreign ministers are to meet in December to discuss the matter.

William Burns hesitated to predict the meeting’s outcome.


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