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by RAY FLEMING
YESTERDAY'S emergency meeting of foreign ministers of Nato countries made only one thing clear -that the 26 countries agree there is no form of military response to Russia's involvement in Georgia that would make any sense at all. Nato's secretary-general Jaap de Hoop Schaffer said that relations between Nato and Russia cannot continue on a “business as usual” basis and this thought was incorporated in the communiqué at the end of the meeting. What this comes down to in practice is likely to be no more than a suspension for the moment of the occasional meetings under the auspices of the Nato-Russia Council which was established in 1999. Surprisingly, Mr Schaffer proposed the formation of a Nato-Georgia Council which would keep under review Georgia's progress towards membership - which, clearly, is now the most sensitive issue in relations between Russia, the United States and the other Nato members. A report in yesterday's New York Times quoted Condoleezza RIce as saying: “I don't expect we will, nor have we sought to accelerate the Membership Action Plan for Georgia.” - suggesting a distinct change in the US position. That plan, as it stands, delays consideration of Georgia's Nato membership next year. Russia has said, categorically, that Georgia's (and Ukraine's) membership would be unacceptable. There are different views in Nato on this question but it is obviously necessary that the secretary general and leading Nato members should be speaking with one voice.