Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 208

Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov yesterday dismissed a recent proposal by Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin that called for Moscow to join NATO’s political wing. Primakov said that "nobody really wants" Russia in NATO — and neither does Moscow. Primakov also reasserted his ministry’s primacy in the formulation of foreign policy, and chided Rybkin for interfering — as his predecessor Aleksandr Lebed had done — in Russia’s relations with NATO. "The Security Council secretaries have developed a sort of hobby in speaking on questions of Russia’s participation in NATO," Primakov observed, "but Russian foreign policy is formulated by the Foreign Ministry, and it maintains, as before, a negative attitude toward NATO’s eastward enlargement." (Interfax, Itar-Tass, November 5) In the wake of Rybkin’s remarks on NATO, some Russian commentators speculated that the Security Council would play a greater role in Russia’s dealings with the Western alliance. (See Monitor, November 4)

Lukashenko to Stage Unlawful Referendum.