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Bucharest Hears Bush, Waits for Putin

Bucharest Hears Bush, Waits for Putin - Thursday April 3...

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Thursday, April 3, 2008. Issue 3875. Page 1. Bucharest Hears Bush, Waits for Putin By Nabi Abdullaev Staff Writer QuickTime ° and a decompressor are needed to see this picture. Mihai Barbu / Reuters Romanian President Traian Basescu speaking during a news conference Wednesday with U.S. President George W. Bush in Neptun, on the Black Sea coast. BUCHAREST, Romania -- Hours before the official opening of the NATO summit in Bucharest on Wednesday, U.S. President George Bush set the stage for what could be another blast of harsh rhetorical attacks on the West when President Vladimir Putin arrives Friday. Bush, who arrived in Bucharest on Tuesday amid frenetic security measures, called on the alliance to admit Ukraine and Georgia and shrugged off the possibility that Moscow might acquiesce to U.S. plans for missile-defense bases in Central Europe if Washington stopped pushing for the alliance to welcome Ukraine and Georgia. "We must make clear that NATO welcomes the aspirations of Georgia and Ukraine for membership in NATO and offers them a clear path forward toward that goal," Bush told a gathering of Romanian political and business leaders Wednesday at the double-domed chamber of the Bucharest's Deposit and Savings Bank. "NATO should welcome Georgia and Ukraine into the Membership Action Plan." The plan -- which offers no guarantee of ultimate membership -- helps aspiring countries adjust their military forces and doctrines to comply with NATO requirements.
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