Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 47

Following a meeting yesterday with visiting Czech foreign minister Josef Zieleniec, Primakov warned that the deployment of NATO nuclear warheads on Czech territory would be interpreted by Moscow as an anti-Russian act. He also stated that Moscow’s current opposition to NATO enlargement was unrelated to the ongoing Russian presidential campaign and that the policy was a long-term one based on Russia’s national interests. However, Primakov also spoke in positive terms of bilateral relations between the two countries and deflected further discussion of NATO enlargement with the suggestion that other "solutions might be found that would take into consideration Czech concerns… and at the same time, the psychological mood in Russia and its interests." The two ministers exchanged ratification instruments on the 1993 friendship agreement between the Czech Republic and Russia, and signed an intergovernmental agreement on cultural, scientific, and educational cooperation. (6)

Zieleniec also held talks with Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin while in Moscow, after which it was announced that the two sides would aim for more active economic interactions in machine-building and in the oil and gas industry. In 1995 trade turnover between the two countries was $2.4 billion, of which Russian exports — the bulk of it oil and gas — comprised $1.8 billion. Moscow currently owes the Czech Republic more than $3 billion, a portion of which is to be paid for in Russian goods. (7)

Russian Generals Denounce NATO Expansion.