Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov told reporters in Belarus yesterday that while Russia did not claim to have a veto over the actions of eastern European nations, Moscow was telling those countries not to join NATO. Russia opposes NATO expansion, he added, "not because we reject the concerns of east European countries…[but because] we do not want these countries cut off from the rest of Europe." Primakov, on an official visit to Belarus (see Perspective section below), also dismissed a recent suggestion by President Aleksandr Lukashenko that Minsk might redeploy nuclear weapons as a response to NATO enlargement. "We have a full agreement to remove nuclear missiles from Belarus," he said. "I don’t think this will be altered." (8)
Admiral Baltin Still Afloat.