Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 108

Russian deputy foreign minister Nikolai Afanasevsky claimed at a Moscow press conference yesterday that the recent signing of the Russia-NATO Founding act has weakened the case of those Eastern and Central European states that seek membership in the western alliance. In comments sure to be rejected in the capitals of those states, Afanasevsky said that a provision in the Act — stating that Russia and NATO do not view each other as enemies — undermines what he described as an implicit argument made by Eastern and Central European governments to the effect that Russia continues to pose a threat to their security.

In other comments, Afanasevsky suggested that Moscow continues to look warily at deepening ties between NATO and the newly independent states of the Caucasus region. He also repeated an old argument that the entry of the Baltic countries into NATO would complicate rather than improve their security situations, and said that Moscow would be receptive to other arrangements aimed at guaranteeing the security of the three Baltic countries. (Interfax, June 2) Such arguments have repeatedly been rejected in the Baltic capitals. Various Russian leaders have warned darkly in recent weeks that Moscow would reconsider its friendly relations with NATO, as embodied in the Russia-NATO Founding Act, should the alliance move to admit the Baltic countries.

Strategic Aviation’s Bleak Future.