Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 70

A meeting between the presidents of Poland and Russia in Moscow yesterday produced the expected discordance over NATO expansion and yielded few concrete results, but was nevertheless notable for its conciliatory tone. Polish president Alexander Kwasniewski, visiting Russia for the first time since his election last fall, emphasized that Poland "does not want to be in NATO against Russia," and argued that, "NATO can be a pillar of pan-European security in a Europe without blocs." Yeltsin responded that Moscow had fading hopes that a compromise might be reached on NATO expansion, but allowed that "there is time for this question to be decided and we will not make hasty conclusions." Yeltsin also made clear that he hoped the talks would reverse a long "decline" in bilateral relations, and observed that Moscow had "not gotten on well" with Kwasniewski’s predecessor, former President Lech Walesa. Kwasniewski also invited Yeltsin to visit Poland next year. Agreements on student exchanges and transportation issues were reportedly signed. (Western agencies, NTV, Segodnya, April 9)

Kwasniewski, a former communist, also met with Russian Communist party leader Gennady Zyuganov. At a press conference later, Zyuganov said that he categorically opposes the entry of Poland and other Eastern European states into NATO. He also suggested that provision of full security guarantees by NATO and Russia to these countries might be a way of preventing enlargement. (Interfax, April 9)