Our position is unchanged–we prepare for NATO membership… Lithuania has the right to join the military alliance of its choice,” Defense Minister Ceslovas Stankevicius stated yesterday. Stankevicius spoke in the wake of Yevgeny Primakov’s visit to Vilnius, where the Russian Foreign Minister held out the prospect of privileged bilateral relations, provided that Lithuania renounces the goal of joining NATO. “Any Baltic state’s accession to NATO is unacceptable to Russia. This would definitely threaten our security and jeopardize our geopolitical interests,” Primakov warned. Stankevicius rejoined yesterday that NATO’s enlargement in the Baltic region not only “does not threaten Russia’s security; quite the contrary, it would expand the zone of security and stability.” (Russian agencies, June 15; and see the Monitor, June 15.)
LUKASHENKA HEADS PAN-SLAVIC ORGANIZATION.