Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 47

Members of the Swedish defense commission, meeting at the end of last month with top Russian Defense Ministry officials in Moscow, received some of the harshest warnings heard to date on the subject of NATO enlargement, according to a Swedish newspaper report. Generals Dmitri Kharchenko and Gennady Ivanov, both top advisors to defense minister Pavel Grachev, warned that enlargement would prompt Russia to withdraw from the CFE Treaty, decelerate compliance with the START I Treaty, and reconsider ratification of the START II Treaty.

At the meeting with the military advisors, and in the course of other talks as well, Russian participants were said to have made clear that Moscow opposed NATO membership for Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary, as well as for the Nordic states of Sweden, Finland, and the former Soviet Baltic states. Kharchenko and Ivanov warned that enlargement would lead Russia to move nuclear weapons closer to the Nordic area and Central Europe and could rupture relations between Moscow and the states involved. Protestations by the Swedish participants that Sweden had no intention of joining NATO were said to have been greeted with suspicion by the Russian generals. (8)

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