KYRGYZSTAN HAS NOTHING AGAINST NATO ENLARGEMENT, SAYS NO TO RUSSIA-LED MILITARY BLOC.

Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 145

Kyrgyz deputy foreign minister Tolgat Chinetov yesterday came out against the idea of "creating a military-political bloc to counter NATO." That would be undesirable because "we only recently managed to avoid the confrontation among blocs, and we would not like a return to the past." Chinetov said that the issue of NATO’s eastward enlargement "should be resolved on a bilateral basis…If a country wants to join NATO and the Alliance is prepared to admit it, the matter can in principle be resolved." Kyrgyzstan has no plans for military cooperation with NATO but would welcome its assistance toward civilian conversion of the ex-Soviet military industry in Kyrgyzstan, Chinetov said. His country does however seek full-fledged cooperation with the OSCE, which it regards as "not limited to Europe" in the scope of its actions. (20)

Chinetov spoke as he was attending consultations in Moscow among CIS deputy foreign ministers on the upcoming OSCE Foreign Ministers’ meeting. This view contrasts with the prevalent view in Moscow about NATO’s enlargement and implicitly challenges Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s and defense minister Pavel Grachev’s repeated calls for the formation of a military-political bloc around Russia to counter NATO’s enlargement. By the same token Chinetov’s comments substantiate Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev’s acid remark earlier in the week that a glance at the map shows Russia would find no partners for a bloc under its leadership.

1. Reuter, December 1

2. Reuter, December 1

3. Reuter, December 1

4. Pravda and Russian TV, November 29

5. Western agencies, November 29 and 30

6. Interfax-Ukraine, November 30

7. UPI, December 1

8. Interfax, November 30

9. Reuter, Interfax, November 30

10. Interfax, November 30

11. Reuter, November 30

12. FIA-Interfax, November 30

13. BNS, November 28 through 30

14. AP, Reuters, Itar-Tass, Interfax, Izvestiya, November 30

15. Ukrinform, Interfax-Ukraine, Itar-Tass, November 28 and 29

16. Basapress, November 30

17. Interfax, November 30

18. Flux and Basapress, November 29 and 30

19. Interfax and Itar-Tass, November 28

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