Similar issues were considered in a newspaper essay published by the foreign policy spokesman for German chancellor Helmut Kohl’s Christian Democrats. Rudolf Seiters suggested May 9 that Eastern European democracies be granted partial European Union membership in 1997 and that some be admitted into NATO before the year 2000. The proposal, believed to be a trial balloon released by the government in Bonn, was based on the notion that peace and stability in Europe could be maintained only by sending strong signals to Eastern European governments that the West is committed to integration. Seiters reportedly emphasized that Moscow’s opposition should not be enough to keep the Baltic states out of the EU or constitute an impediment to the alliance’s enlargement in general. But he also urged the EU and NATO to foster goodwill by building a strategic alliance with Russia. (Reuter, May 9)
Belarus Drifting Toward Status of Military Satellite.