Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 94

Aleksei Podberezkin, deputy chairman of the Duma International Affairs Committee, warned yesterday that NATO enlargement would compel Russia to rethink its commitment to several international arms control agreements. Podberezkin, who is also an informal foreign policy advisor to Communist presidential candidate Gennady Zyuganov (see Monitor, May 9), said that NATO’s intention to deploy nuclear weapons on the territory of new member states would result in Moscow’s refusal to ratify the START-2 Treaty or to observe the flank limits contained in the CFE Treaty. (Interfax, May 14)

Podberezkin was referring specifically to a remark allegedly made by NATO secretary general Javier Solana recently in Oslo. But NATO spokesman John Laugh categorically denied in Moscow yesterday that Solana had declared the alliance’s intention to deploy nuclear warheads in Eastern European countries entering NATO. A first deputy Russian foreign minister also admitted obliquely that Moscow could not find fault with Solana’s remarks in that regard. (Interfax, May 14)

Podberezkin’s threats on the subject of Moscow’s response to NATO enlargement reiterated sentiments expressed repeatedly by a number of opposition political figures. They demonstrated anew how little difference there is between the Yeltsin government and its Communist and nationalist opponents on several key European security issues.

European Union Approves Cooperation Plan with Russia.