A Russian parliamentary delegation led by Duma speaker Gennady Seleznev was scolded in Sofia March 27 for the Duma’s March 15 resolution denouncing the disbandment of the USSR. On the final day of a three-day visit, Bulgarian prime minister Zhan Videnov told the Russian parliamentarians that "no matter how symbolic" the resolution might have seemed, "it could have created a big turmoil in legal relations between Bulgaria and Russia." Turning to NATO enlargement, Seleznev said that the Duma backs Boris Yeltsin’s policies vis-a-vis the Western alliance and argued that expansion would introduce tensions in Europe and trigger a new arms race. "NATO should pass into history in the same way as the Warsaw Pact did," he said. But, like Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov on many occasions, Seleznev was later reduced to a declaration that Moscow would respect Bulgaria’s right as a sovereign country to manage its relationship with NATO. (Reuter, March 26; Itar-Tass, March 27) Bulgaria’s president had said earlier that Sofia would seek entry into NATO. (See Monitor, March 26)
Yavlinsky and Others Propose Alternative to CIS Integration.