Russia’s outspoken minister of atomic energy Viktor Mikhailov said March 5 that NATO expansion is offensive to Russians and "an encroachment" on their dignity. "Those who seek to expand NATO eastward should recall the Caribbean crisis, when Soviet missiles were deployed in Cuba," he told journalists. "Remember how the U.S. reacted to that." (8) Mikhailov was referring to the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, when the United States turned back a Soviet attempt to deploy intermediate-range ballistic missiles in Cuba. On February 15 Mikhailov had warned that Moscow would respond to NATO’s expansion into eastern Europe and the deployment there of nuclear warheads by destroying the sites where they are based. (See Monitor, February 19) A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman later characterized the remark as Mikhailov’s personal opinion and not a reflection of government policy.
Zhirinovsky Expects to be Second Candidate Registered.