NATO Secretary General Javier Solana brought much the same message to Moscow. In remarks to the press and during a meeting with Russian defense minister Pavel Grachev, Solana underscored the alliance’s commitment to building a close working relationship with Russia and he urged Moscow to follow through on cooperative agreements concluded earlier with NATO. Grachev reacted positively to the notion of cooperation, but argued that cooperation between Moscow and Brussels obviated the need for NATO enlargement. Solana was firm on that point, however, declaring that the decision to expand NATO was taken in 1994 and would be fulfilled, regardless of the results of Russia’s upcoming presidential election or any resolutions that might be adopted by the Duma. Like Christopher, he also ruled out the option of offering Eastern European states something less than full membership. Solana was scheduled to meet today with Russian president Boris Yeltsin. (Reuter & Interfax, March 20)
Russia Signs Power-Sharing Treaty with Komi Republic.