Georgia and Ukraine ‘shouldn’t join Nato’

Russian armour in South Ossetia: who started the war?

In a potentially significant swing of expert Western opinion, a leading British think tank has urged that Nato membership should not be granted to Georgia or Ukraine

“The policy of Nato enlargement now would be a strategic error,” said Dr John Chipman, Director General of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS).

“There is no case for accelerating membership for Georgia and Ukraine. There is a strong case for a pause,” he said in remarks introducing the IISS’s annual review of world affairs, the Strategic Survey.

The IISS intervention shows that following the war in Georgia, a debate is growing about whether a confrontational approach to Russia is the best one.

The IISS is critical of Georgia’s actions during the conflict

The IISS is highly critical of Georgian actions – in contrast to the support Georgia has received from the US and some European countries, notably Britain. Naturally, if Georgia is faulted, then less blame can be put on Russia, whatever its reaction or, as some hold, its over-reaction.

Dr Chipman said that the “balance of evidence suggests that Georgia started this war”.

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