Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 103

A sensitive NATO study, obtained by Reuter, says that plans for eastward enlargement must entail the new members’ full acceptance of nuclear deterrence as the core of common defense strategy, and include the stationing of troops and tactical nuclear weapons on the territory of new members in the event of conflict. The 30-page report stresses the need for good relations with Russia, but repeats that Moscow will have no veto on the matter. It promises that all new members will benefit from the alliance’s advanced intelligence capabilities, but they will also be expected to make significant financial contributions. The study mentions no countries nor any time frame, and does not rule out a staged enlargement. NATO will brief central and eastern European countries on the study on September 27. (2)

Publication of the study conclusions, even though not authorized or "official," will probably infuriate Moscow and make it think that the leak was "no accident." Russia’s leaders and diplomats have insisted that the issue of NATO enlargement needs to be studied a lot more and made a subject of intensive consultations, with the inclusion of Russia, before any action is contemplated. Some European leaders also appear to have second thoughts about the timing and pace of accession of new members. At an informal meeting of European leaders in Majorca last Saturday, British Prime Minister John Major mused about an accession timetable that would follow a very gradual process. Official Moscow will have noted that there were no objections voiced to Major’s remarks from the assembled leaders. In weeks and months to come, Moscow almost certainly will seek to use western Europe to drive a wedge between the U.S. and the central and eastern European countries on the one hand and, on the other, the more hesitant West European members of NATO who are less eager to take practical steps leading to early enlargement.

Russian-Czech Treaty Clears Hurdle.