Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 148

Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday accused the Baltic states of "searching for an external threat and an external enemy" in an effort to "heighten anti-Russian sentiments." Spokesman Mikhail Demurin said that the interparliamentary Baltic Assembly’s December 2 resolution in favor of defense cooperation and a defense alliance among the Baltic states has "perplexed" Moscow and promotes "confrontation with Russia." The spokesman also criticized the Baltic Assembly’s appeal to the Council of Europe to condition Russia’s admission on respect for Baltic ndependence. (10) On the other hand the West European Union Assembly also yesterday urged the creation of a Standing Baltic Sea Force to patrol the Baltic Sea. The resolution envisages a joint force to be comprised of German, Danish, Polish, Lithuanian, Latvian, and Estonian ships, and which would prevent a security vacuum from developing in the region. (11) The WEU Assembly is a parliamentary arm of the WEU, the nascent defense organization of the European Union which the Baltic states plan to join. The Baltic states are currently setting up small navies with assistance mainly from Sweden and Germany, and are also discussing the creation of a joint naval squadron. Current preparations are said to focus on coastal guard and mine sweeping units.

Progress on Black Sea Fleet Bases.