At the NATO defense ministers’ meeting in Bergen (Norway) this morning, U.S. defense secretary William Perry and another Pentagon official were cited as naming a second reason for postponing the Baltic states’ accession to NATO, in addition to the already stated primary reason that the three states are militarily unable to assume mutual assistance obligations. The second reason cited today is that the Baltic states have "disputes with Russia," including problems over the "treatment of Russian minorities." (UPI, September 27) The statement diverges from the findings of OSCE and other international organizations which have found no human rights problems in connection with the treatment of Russians in the Baltic states. It can also encourage Moscow to continue artificially heating up the issue as it has in order to discourage NATO’s enlargement in the Baltic region.
OSCE Envoy Differs with Christopher on Estonia.