Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 228

The presidential offices and foreign ministries of all three Baltic states were quick to respond to Yeltsin’s offer in a positive vein. They described the offer as a hopeful signal that Russia will seek to promote mutual confidence and goodneighborly relations in the Baltic region. The responses pointed out that current Russian force levels in the region were clearly excessive; and called for more specific information on the force cut plans — "how much and where." Estonia and Latvia called for the cuts to encompass the adjacent Pskov Oblast and for the signing of border agreements (held up by the Russian side); while Lithuania urged demilitarization of Kaliningrad Oblast.

The responses from all three countries reaffirmed the Western orientation of their policies. On December 5, the Baltic presidents received invitations from the U.S. White House to sign in Washington next month the U.S.-Baltic Charter, one of whose goals is to assist Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania to qualify for accession to NATO. (BNS, Russian agencies, December 5-7)

Luzhkov Fraternizes with Lukashenka, Praises Yeltsin’s for Promoting Union.