RUSSIA REITERATES RESERVATIONS ABOUT NATO ENLARGEMENT.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 111
Moscow continued to pursue its dual approach toward NATO yesterday,as Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov used a speech in Geneva toapplaud the recently signed Russia-NATO Founding Act but then,later in the speech as well as in comments to reporters, reiterateda number of Russia’s long-standing criticisms of the Western alliance.In an address at the Geneva Conference on Disarmament, Primakovspoke optimistically of the Russia-NATO agreement as a reflectionof broader improvements in the international security environment.He also restated, however, Moscow’s continuing opposition to NATO’senlargement and Moscow’s belief that only by signing the FoundingAct could it minimize the consequences of enlargement. In laterremarks to reporters, moreover, Primakov warned that "withoutRussia [or] against Russia, there will be no security on thiscontinent, as there will be no security elsewhere in the world."The Russian foreign minister also criticized what he called "NATO-centrism,"said that the idea of a European security system based on NATO"does not suit" Russia, and repeated Moscow’s long-standingcall for the OSCE to play the major "coordinating" rolein European security matters. (Itar-Tass, June 5)
Russia’s enduring hostility to enlargement was also reflectedin Moscow yesterday, where Deputy Foreign Minister Nikolai Afanasevskydescribed as "untimely" any talk of a "second wave"– likely to include some former Soviet states — of admissionsinto NATO. Indeed, Afanasevsky questioned whether even the "firstwave" of admissions would come to pass, arguing that popularopinion is fractured on the issue in those Eastern and CentralEuropean states now vying for membership. He also pointed to whathe said are differences within the alliance, including some dissonanceon the question of adaptations to the CFE Treaty, as a possibleobstacle to enlargement. (Interfax, June 5) On June 2 Afanasevskyhad argued that the signing of the Russia-NATO Founding Act obviatesthe need for Eastern and Central European states to join NATObecause the document stipulates that Russia and NATO do not vieweach other as enemies. (See Monitor, June 3) Recent statementsout of Moscow make clear that the Kremlin will continue to workagainst NATO enlargement, despite the signing of the FoundingAct.
A Decommissioned Submarine Sinks.