Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 31

Defense Minister Pavel Grachev told reporters in Belgrade February 9 that Russia would be compelled to take measures aimed "at strengthening its own security" if NATO chose to "ignore Russian interests" and expanded to the East. Those measures, he said, would include a search for partners in eastern and central Europe as well as the CIS to establish a military-political alliance, a strengthening of Russia’s own military capabilities, and a reexamination of the CFE, START, and START II treaties. Moscow would also strive for closer partnerships with unspecified countries in the East, according to Grachev. (1)

While the Russian defense minister’s warnings contained nothing new, their truculence contrasted markedly with the muted remarks on the subject of NATO expansion made over the weekend by Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov during talks with U.S. secretary of state Warren Christopher. This development suggests either that Russia intends deliberately to speak with several voices on the subject, or that, despite the appointment of Primakov, discipline has yet to be enforced within the Russian foreign and security policy communities.

Yeltsin Lays Out Foreign Policy Interests.