US Senator: Send a clear message to Russia, give MAP to Georgia, 30 Apr 2014 - 12:51, Tbilisi,Georgia

The Atlantic Council should grant Georgia with a Membership Action Plan (MAP) to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) if they want to send a clear message to Russia, two US Senator's believe.

Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy spoke earlier today as part of the Atlantic Council’s 'Toward a Europe Whole and Free' conference on the US role in European security.

When the Senators were asked about the costs the United States and Europe should impose on Russia to make Russian President Vladimir Putin change his calculus, Murphy said:

"To send a clear message to Putin, let us give a Membership Action Plan [MAP] to Georgia and enact an "open door policy” so other countries can work their way into the Alliance.”

A parallel was drawn between the Ukraine crisis and Russia’s invasion of Georgia in 2008. Senator McCain said he was not satisfied with the decision the then-US President George Bush took back then.

"I really have problems with the Bush Administration’s response to Georgia … you could argue that he [Putin] succeeded there so why not take another step forward,” the Senator said.

US Vice President Joseph Biden, as well as US Secretary of State John Kerry gave speeches at the Atlantic Council’s two-day conference that started yesterday. Georgia’s Defence Minister Irakli Alasania also participated in the conference.