Vladimir Lukin, the influential chairman of the Russian Duma’s International Affairs Committee, has criticized Security Council secretary Ivan Rybkin’s recent call for Russia to seek entry into NATO. Lukin described the proposal as Rybkin’s "personal opinion" and suggested that its public airing could complicate the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to halt the enlargement process. Lukin, who reiterated Moscow’s opposition to NATO expansion, said that the Security Council secretary has no constitutional right to speak out on such matters. (Interfax, November 15)
No Agreement on Russian Military Budget.