Apr 3, 2008

Last Stop: Bucharest

The Romanian government pulled out all the stops to make the NATO summit a success. City officials planted new flowers, fixed street signs (which way to Sochi?), rounded up stray dogs, and even banned the sale of alcohol in some parts of the city -- just to be safe. Reportedly, one crisis nearly threatened to tank the entire affair, when Romanian officials discovered the Parliament Palace didn't have enough toilets, prompting a mad dash to install port-a-johns.

In public statements, President Bush didn't mention Ukraine or Georgia by name, but he was especially effusive with President Sarkozy, seeing him as the "latest incarnation of Elvis." But only on background.

Still, the real fun occurred when the Macedonians "stormed out of the meeting," after failing to receive a MAP. This is, of course, exactly the kind of behavior you want to exhibit when attempting to demonstrate just how reliable and stable you are.

But apparently diva tatics work in NATO, as Vladimir Putin had already "threatened to cancel his planned first-ever visit to the NATO meeting on Friday if [Ukraine & Georgia] entered the program for eventual membership."

Thus far, Putin has been especially gracious.

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