Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 40

In a state of the nation speech devoted primarily to domestic issues, Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s remarks on foreign and security policy stuck to well-worn complaints about NATO enlargement and an alleged failure by the world to respect Russia’s broader interests. "We are alarmed by the calls made in a number of countries to ignore and directly contradict Russia’s legitimate interests in the CIS, in the course of regulating the Yugoslav crisis, in questions of the balance of conventional arms in Europe and observing to the letter the ABM Treaty," he said.

But with one eye on the upcoming presidential elections, Yeltsin was also careful to enumerate what he believes have been the achievements of Russian foreign policy. He pointed to deepening integration in the CIS, a more active policy of defending ethnic Russians abroad and, of greatest importance, the fact that Russia currently faces no real military or nuclear threat. Citing Russia’s growing participation in the G-7 and its recent entry into the Council of Europe, Yeltsin declared that "Russia is ever more confidently occupying its rightful place in the world community." He also lauded improved relations with China and the growth of trade relations, including those involving military hardware, with the ASEAN and Persian gulf countries. (1)

…And Criticizes Pace of Defense Reform.