The United States maintains close ties with Georgia and Ukraine and is not going “to trade anything” with Russia regarding NATO expansion or missile defense, Michael McFaul, the U.S. President’s special assistant and senior director for Russian and Eurasian affairs at the National Security Council, said.
He said in a briefing on July 1 that planned visit of the U.S. Vice President to Georgia and Ukraine, two weeks after President Obama’s visit to Moscow on July 6-8, was “a signal of our support” to those two countries.
“We are not in any way, in the name of the reset [of relations with Russia], abandoning our very close relationships with these two democracies, Ukraine and Georgia,” McFaul said.
He said that Washington remained committed to the principle of NATO’s open door policy.
“The principles have been laid out well before our administration. We have not messed with those at all,” he said. “If countries meet the criteria, if they do the reforms that qualify, if the people of those countries want to join NATO, and if they provide security to the alliance… then the negotiation is open. And that pertains to Georgia and Ukraine and other countries in the region.”