Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 44

The first in what will be a series of stops by Russia’s foreign minister aimed at convincing eastern European leaders to rethink intentions to join NATO got off to an inauspicious start in Bratislava yesterday. In his first trip to the former East Bloc, Yevgeny Primakov restated Moscow’s opposition to enlargement of the western alliance and the extension of its military infrastructure to Russia’s border. "We oppose not only the process of speeding up an increase in NATO membership," he said, " but the process itself." But Slovak leaders were undeterred by Primakov’s admonitions. Foreign Minister Juraj Schenk said that Slovakia would continue to strive "for full integration in western structures," while Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar confirmed Bratislava’s turn "towards the European Union and Euro-Atlantic defensive structures." Primakov is scheduled in March to visit Poland and Hungary, each of which has also declared its intention to join NATO. (8)

United States to Increase Spending for Nuclear Security.