Nato: Der Nächste Schritt

BERLIN: Der nächste Nato-Gipfel wird, wenn Präsident Bush nicht schon vorher seine wichtigsten Verbündeten zusammenrufen will, im Winter 2002 in Prag stattfinden. Aber schon heute steht der wichtigste Beschluss des Treffens fest, nämlich welche Beitrittskandidaten wann in den Nato-Klub aufgenommen werden. Und ebenso steht fest, daß die eigentliche Entscheidung darüber möglichst früh, am besten noch in diesem Jahr gefällt werden muß.

Das war 1997, als Polen, Ungarn und Tschechien in das Bündnis aufgenommen wurden, noch ganz anders. Bis zum letzten Augenblick des damaligen Madrider Nato-Gipfels war der Ausgang offen. Am Ende setzten die USA sich mit dem Dreier-Paket durch, und manch ein Verbündeter, der weitere Kandidaten befürwortet hatte, fühlte sich damals überfahren,

Wenn diesmal die Entscheidung früher fallen muß, dann liegt das an einem unausgesprochenen, aber unausweichlichen Umstand der nächsten Erweiterungsrunde: ganz gleich, welche anderen Kandidaten in Erwägung gezogen werden, es geht vor allem darum, ob die baltischen Staaten - Estland, Lettland und Litauen - jetzt oder erst später aufgenommen werden. In jedem Fall wird die Entscheidung problematisch. Denn wenn sie gegen die baltischen Staaten ausfällt, wird dies als Entgegenkommen an Rußland, wenn sie für sie ergeht, als Affront an die Moskauer Adresse gedeutet werden.

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