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Volatile Mix: Ukraine, NATO and Putin

From an AP report carried by Ukraine's Kyiv Post:

A senior Republican senator who has worked with Russia on disposing nuclear materials questioned Tuesday whether NATO was right to invite Russian President Vladimir Putin to its summit meeting early next month.

Speaking at a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on NATO, Sen. Richard Lugar pointed to a recent threat by Putin to target Ukraine with nuclear missiles if the former Soviet republic joins NATO and accepts the deployment of anti-missile defenses on its territory.

At its summit in Bucharest, the alliance will consider whether to invite Ukraine and Georgia to join a program to prepare them for eventual membership.

"To invite President Putin into this situation, I suspect, is to give him a meeting in which he intimidates them further," Lugar said. "In this context this seems to be very dubious."

The wisdom of the move is indeed questionable in that regard.