Various Russian and Western news sources reported last week that Moscow has unilaterally suspended a 1997 agreement with Britain on joint naval exercises. The navies of the two countries had already held two sets of joint maneuvers as part of the 1997 agreement, and reportedly planned to hold a third exercise in the spring of this year. That will apparently not happen. According to one Russian source, the decision to suspend cooperation with the British navy was part of a broader move by the Russian government under Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov to limit such contacts with NATO countries. The newspaper said that the action against London was a result of Britain’s participation in the bombing of Iraq. The British Defense Ministry was said to be indignant over the Russian action (Itar-Tass, February 17-18; Novye izvestia, February 19).
LEBED’S BRIEF ROMANCE WITH CHUBAIS HAS SOURED.