Remarks by a Foreign Ministry spokesman April 9, and by Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov April 5, suggest that Moscow may begin to make more explicit its long-developing strategy of trying to force NATO to choose between two policies that the alliance seeks to combine: enlargement (including participation by new member states in NATO military structures) and cooperation with Russia. That strategy will apparently be augmented, moreover, by an offer from Moscow to exchange formal recognition of NATO’s role as a component of any future European security system for a Western agreement that Russia will play a major role in that system.
Thus, during an address in Moscow on April 5, Primakov reiterated Moscow’s willingness to compromise on the issue of NATO expansion if new states did not enter NATO military structures. He also said that Russia would submit a new security model for consideration at the next CIS summit that would recognize NATO’s place — along with the OSCE — in Europe, and that Russia would play "a very big part" in this system. (Interfax, April 5) Primakov was followed April 9 by a Foreign Ministry spokesman, who said that Moscow would offer to build a cooperative relationship between Russia and a non-expanding NATO. The resulting partnership, he said, could become a major pillar of a new pan-European security system. (Interfax, April 9) Although neither mentioned the issue, Russia presumably also sees itself playing a dominant role within the CIS.
Yeltsin Anticipates Moscow G-7 Summit.