Russia to react if Ukraine, Georgia join NATO

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Moscow, Apr 11 (UNI) The Chief of the Russian Armed Forces General Staff Yury Baluyevsky today said the possible entry of former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO will force Russia to react in order to guarantee its national security.

''Unambiguously, Russia will make actions aimed at guaranteeing its interests near its borders. These will not be just military measures, there will be other measures as well,'' Mr Baluyevsky told journalists here.

However, Mr Baluyevsky made it clear it was premature to speak about the possible entry of Ukraine and Georgia into NATO.

This is an ambiguous issue. Ukrainians are unambiguously against joining NATO. Regardless of the socalled referendum in Georgia, according to whose results seventy per cent of the population backed the idea, it is early days yet. We will see,'' he stressed.

Commenting on US plans to deploy missle defence systems in Europe, The General said US was deploying its missile shield to counter Russia's increasing global power.

He said Russia had straightened in the good sense of the word its economic, social and military shoulders, which is envied by some nations.

''That's why the strategic stability we established 15 years ago in Europe has suddenly been destroyed,'' he added.

UNI XC SLD HT1630

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