Russia’s first deputy foreign minister Igor Ivanov yesterday came out against a role for NATO in the negotiations to settle the Abkhazia and Karabakh conflicts. The region is "out of area" in relation to NATO, Ivanov stressed, commenting on NATO secretary-general Javier Solana’s visit there last week. Ivanov warned against "attempts to exploit or speculate on conflicts on post-Soviet territory for purposes that go beyond the interests of those countries and regions." (Interfax, February 17)
Bulgaria Says it Wants to Join NATO.