Saturday, October 25, 2008
France's minister for European affairs Jean-Pierre Jouyet announced the other day that France remained adamantly (and rightly--ed.) opposed to NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine, so it is all the more interesting to learn of the allegation that a Ukrainian oligarch may have been funneling money to the Tory party in Britain. France's preference at this point is to put Georgia and Ukraine on the slow track to EU rather than NATO membership as a way of connoting general support for democratic reforms without unnecessarily antagonizing Russia. In the meantime, the two eastern countries can be treated favorably as "neighbors" of Europe. This prudent compromise course avoids both the Scylla of provocation (e.g., Patriot missiles and radars in Poland) and the Charybdis of capitulation to the reassertion of Russian domination in the east.