Two leaders of Russia’s lower house of parliament indicated on June 3 that the Duma will soon debate the recently-signed Russia-NATO Founding Act, but that the action will not constitute an act of ratification or non-ratification. The debate will apparently result, at most, in a statement expressing approval or disapproval of the document. The remarks — by Duma chairman Gennady Seleznev and the chairman of the Committee for International Affairs, Vladimir Lukin — follow earlier intimations by Russian leaders that the Kremlin would submit the NATO document to the parliament for formal ratification of some sort. Lukin’s assertion that the agreement is, in fact, "not subject to ratification" coincides with the interpretation of Western leaders, who crafted the document so that it would not require parliamentary ratification. According to Lukin, the agreement will be debated before parliament’s July-August summer holiday. (Itar-Tass, June 3)
Meanwhile, NATO secretary general Javier Solana said on June 3 in Madrid that he would do his utmost to convince Russian president Boris Yeltsin to participate in the July 8-9 NATO summit to be held in the Spanish capital. (Itar-Tass, June 3) The Kremlin has waffled on the issue of Yeltsin’s participation, but its most recent indication was that he would not attend the event.