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Page last updated at 14:21 GMT, Friday, 4 April 2008 15:21 UK

European media split over Nato

US President George W Bush (right) with Croatian President Stipe Mesic at the Nato summit in Bucharest
Croatia got a Nato thumbs-up - but Macedonia has to wait

In the wake of Thursday's announcement on Nato enlargement, commentators in Croatia and Albania are jubilant that their countries have been invited to proceed to full membership of the western alliance.

Elsewhere, the media focus more on the realpolitik that led countries such as France and Germany to deny Ukraine and Georgia a fast track to membership.

Meanwhile, Macedonian commentators reflect ruefully on the effect of Greek opposition to their country's Nato aspirations.

Croatian press

VECERNJI LIST

Nato to Croatia: welcome to our family.

SLOBODNA DALMACIJA

With Nato accession, Croatia joins the world's most elite club.

VJESNIK

Croatia is not losing but strengthening its sovereignty.

Albanian press

CELO HOXHA IN TEMA

[Albania's Nato membership] does away definitively with what remains of the Yalta and Potsdam agreements among the great powers.

Ukrainian media

UKRAYINA TV

Many are still having trouble getting used to Russia emerging as a new superpower, but oil- and gas-dependent Europe apparently thought that the Kremlin's arguments carried more weight than the need to grow Nato-style democracy on ex-Soviet soil.

SEGODNYA

Nato does not need us right now... Western Europe for the first time ever let it be known that its security policy is no longer going to be guided by the USA. Instead, it is going to pursue an independent policy that will take Russia's interests into account.

GAZETA PO-KIYEVSKI

Let's read between the lines of Nato's polite brush-aside statement. The alliance's older members, like France and Germany, gently slapped Ukraine in the face. They are rather disinclined to fall out with the Kremlin because of us. Europe's economy is directly dependent on Russian gas, after all.

Russian press

VADIM MARKUSHIN IN KRASNAYA ZVEZDA

The US president has not managed to push through the issue of inviting Ukraine and Georgia to join Nato. It is clear that leading European states considered the cost of speedy Nato expansion... as too high.

ANDREY BARANOV AND VLADIMIR ZIBROV IN KOMSOMOLSKAYA PRAVDA

Bush has not managed to force his European allies in Nato to give Ukraine and Georgia the green light for the Membership Action Plan. The Europeans' position is understandable. Why would they want to cast their votes for the sake of the US presidential campaign?

OLEG SHEVTSOV AND ANATOLIY MAKSIMOV IN IZVESTIYA

The strongest point of the Georgian and Ukrainian "colour revolutionaries" is a pro-American and anti-Russian policy. But from the point of view of the French and the Germans, that is not enough for Nato membership.

German press

ANDREAS SCHWARZKOPF IN FRANKFURTER RUNDSCHAU

The old Europe rightly asserted itself against the wishes of US President Bush and did not give Ukraine or Georgia the status of accession candidates for the time being... In terms of security policy, the wrong signal would have been sent out to Moscow.

THORSTEN KNUF IN BERLINER ZEITUNG

It is good that the Europeans have asserted themselves over this point. They can be pleased with their role in Bucharest: admitting Georgia and Ukraine into the alliance would bring greater security for those two states but in the current situation not for the continent as a whole. If Nato had done what the Americans wanted, it would again have given Russia reason to feel that it is under threat.

French press

JEAN-MICHEL BOUGUEREAU IN LA REPUBLIQUE DES PYRENEES

Having played the role vis-a-vis Bush for which Tony Blair used to be criticised, Nicolas Sarkozy has now let it be known that he is giving in to Moscow's blackmail.

Macedonian media

MACEDONIAN TV

The threats we were receiving from our southern neighbour became a reality - although Macedonia fulfilled all the criteria for Nato membership, Greece stopped our entry to Nato.

VECER

Macedonia is not in Nato but remains with the USA.

VEST

Nato punished us because we are Macedonians.

VREME

We have lost the battle, but not the war.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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