According to a NATO military spokesman, Russian participation in NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) program has virtually ground to a halt. Russia was among the last countries to sign the program’s Framework Document–waiting until some five months after it was open for signature in January 1994. Moscow then waited another year before agreeing to its individual country cooperation program. That document, approved by former foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev in May 1995, has "become obsolete," according to the NATO official, and Russia has not shown any interest in updating it. (Interfax, December 8)
The Partnership for Peace continues to attract other European countries who have no interest in ultimately joining NATO. Swiss minister of foreign affairs Flavio Cotti will sign the Framework Document in Brussels on December 11. Switzerland will then join such other neutral countries as Austria, Finland, and Sweden in the PfP.
The NATO official said that Russia’s reluctance to participate in the PfP was keeping it "on the sidelines" of the effort to create a new European security architecture. He noted that the Russian military was experiencing severe financial problems but indicated that NATO would be willing to pay some of the costs for Russian participation in PfP events. Russia is providing an airborne brigade to the NATO-led Implementation Force (IFOR) in Bosnia — which is not connected with the PfP — and has indicated it will be represented in the follow-on Stabilization Force.
Ukraine Prepares Response to Russian Claim to Sevastopol.