Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 114

Moscow continued its policy of trying to force NATO to choose between enlargement and cooperation with Russia during talks between Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev and NATO defense chiefs in Brussels June 14. On the positive side, the two sides "essentially agreed to build on the relationship that has already been formed by the Russians in IFOR (the Bosnian peace implementation force) and to institutionalize that relationship," U.S. defense secretary William Perry said. The result was an agreement, the details of which are still to be worked out, under which Russia is to make its temporary liaison office at NATO’s SHAPE headquarters a permanent one. Russian officers will also be attached to several other NATO command sites. Generals from the Western alliance, in turn, will occupy permanent positions on the Russian General Staff. Grachev also proposed greater cooperation with NATO on peacekeeping operations, joint weapons development, anti-proliferation measures, disarmament, ballistic missile defense, and countering terrorism and drug trafficking.

But, despite NATO secretary-general Javier Solana’s characterization of the meeting as "very constructive and positive," and Grachev’s own call "to broaden and deepen relations" between Russia and NATO "on all military and political issues," the sides continued to clash over enlargement. "NATO expansion and the deepening of its cooperation with Russia do not go hand-in-hand," Grachev said, adding that a "non-enlarged NATO can do anything that an enlarged NATO can do." Solana rebutted Grachev, saying that "nobody is forcing" Russia into NATO and characterizing the Western alliance as "a democratic organization that is not a threat to anyone." (Russian and Western agencies, June 14)

Applauding Sino-Russian Partnership.