NATO chiefs have gathered in Estonia to discuss Ukraine’s progress towards joining the alliance.
The current political instability in Ukraine has made NATO reluctant to set out a clear timetable.
But the bloc has said both it and Georgia will one day become members despite Russia being deeply opposed to Ukraine’s entry.
After the summit, US Defence Secretary Robert Gates also described Russia’s threat to station missiles near Poland as ‘provocative and misguided’.
He said: ‘‘Russia’s more recent behaviour has been troubling as well. Within hours of the conclusion of the American election, Russian President Medevdev responded by threatening to place missiles in Kaliningrad. Hardly the welcome a new American administration deserves. Such provocative remarks are unnecessary and misguided.’‘
The US anti-missile defence system is seen by Russia as a threat to its security.
And, in an interview with French daily Le Figaro today, Russian President Dmitri Medvedev called on the US to abandon its project.
In exchange, Medvedev has promised not to base any missiles in the Baltic region.