In a more explicit enumeration of many of the positions that he has advanced implicitly since his appointment as Russian foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov said in an interview published yesterday that Russia had earlier gone too far in pursuing partnership with the West. "I don’t think we can talk about a strategic alliance with our former Cold War opponents," he said. "What we can talk about is a civilized partnership or a privileged partnership with some of them." Primakov listed five principles upon which he said an "equal partnership" with the West might be built. They included consultations prior to measures that might impact upon another partner, a commitment to observe agreements, and a willingness to search for acceptable alternative solutions to disagreements. Primakov declared that NATO expansion would worsen Russia’s geopolitical situation, both militarily and psychologically. He objected especially to the deployment of tactical nuclear weapons near Russia’s border and intimated that such a development would compel the government to grant the military its wish for greater funding. He again named CIS integration as a priority of the Foreign Ministry, but emphasized its objective nature. (5)
…Cautions Prague on NATO Membership.