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Learning English - Words in the News
04 April, 2008 - Published 12:31 GMT
NATO membership for Georgia and Ukraine held off
Yushchenko and Scheffer at NATO summit in Bucharest

The Secretary General of NATO, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has said there's no doubt that Ukraine and Georgia will one day join the alliance. He was speaking in Bucharest after talks with Ukraine's president, Viktor Yushchenko, who said it was an historic moment for his country. This report from Rob Watson:

Listen to the story

On Thursday NATO leaders had promised that Ukraine and Georgia would eventually join the alliance, though without putting them on an immediate formal path to membership. Just in case it wasn't clear enough, the NATO Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, has now said there's no doubt they will become members one day.

Standing by his side, the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yushchenko, said this was an historic moment for Ukraine - though, in a clear nod to Moscow, he was careful to stress its efforts to join the alliance were not directed at any other country.

Just how Moscow feels about NATO enlargement into the former Soviet Union should become clearer shortly, with President Putin now making the first ever visit by a Russian leader to a NATO summit.

Rob Watson, BBC News, Bucharest

Listen to the words

in the end (especially after a long time and/or a lot of effort

the alliance
here, NATO (an alliance is a group of countries, political parties or people who have agreed to work together because they have common interests or aims)

without putting them on an immediate formal path to membership
not yet giving them the official status of countries that were regarded as future NATO members

there's no doubt
it's certain that

an historic moment
a very important event

in a clear nod to
obviously trying to prevent further disagreement with

activities needed to achieve something

directed at
here, aimed at upsetting

becoming bigger by including more and more countries

a meeting at the highest level

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