While assuring Bulgarian leaders that NATO has ruled no country out for admission, NATO secretary-general Javier Solana observed in Sofia yesterday that Bulgaria’s political establishment itself is divided on joining the alliance. Although President Zhelyu Zhelev and the anti-leftist opposition want fervently to join NATO, the ruling socialists are reticent to alienate Moscow. Bulgaria also has traditional ties to Russia, and Moscow has intimated that it places a great deal of importance on maintaining them. With Moscow in mind, Solana stressed the need for transparency and trust as the alliance moved to accept new members. He declared that it "would be a historical mistake to create a new dividing line in Europe or to isolate Russia." (Reuter, May 2) Bulgaria is a member of the Partnership for Peace program, but is considered one of the Eastern European countries least likely to be invited to enter NATO on the first round of admissions.
U.S. Has Protested Restrictions on Jewish Agency.