Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 207

Latvia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday turned down Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s October 24 offer of a Russian-Baltic security pact. The ministry’s statement, which was virtually identical in its wording to the Estonian Foreign Ministry’s statement of the preceding day (see Monitor, November 4), implicitly underscored Baltic solidarity on this issue. Also yesterday, Latvian president Guntis Ulmanis commented that no country is entitled unilaterally to guarantee the security of a state that had never asked for such guarantees. Noting that Moscow presented its plan as a substitute for Baltic accession to NATO, Ulmanis remarked that the plan may have been designed mainly to test the West’s reaction. (BNS, November 4)

Lithuania, the first recipient of the offer, declined it last week. All three countries’ statements emphasized the goal of accession to NATO while also reaffirming the desire for normal goodneighborly relations with Russia under international law. Nevertheless, Russian Foreign Ministry chief spokesman Gennady Tarasov stated yesterday that the Baltic Foreign Ministries’ replies are "not the last word" and that Moscow hopes for an "appropriate" response from a special meeting of the three Baltic presidents scheduled for November 10. (Itar-Tass, November 4)

U.S. Buys MiG-29s from Moldova.