* TEST: WESTERN HEAD, OR EASTERN HEART?
The fury Russians felt at NATO’s bombing campaign was genuine. NATO’s assault justified Russia’s deep suspicions of NATO’s eastward expansion, suspicions never allayed by unkept Western promises to give Russia a voice in NATO’s counsels. When NATO bombs fell on Yugoslavia, most Russians experienced the deeply satisfying sensation of being proven right. But in the end Russian weakness and Russian interests drove the country back toward cooperation with the West. The West has the money Russia needs and in the right circumstances is willing to spend it. And Russia is far too weak now to exert influence in Europe west of Ukraine and Belarus except in cooperation with Western nations. Level-headed Russians who aspire to great-power status look west even if it galls them. So Russian troops will serve in KFOR essentially on NATO’s terms, and Boris Yeltsin can tell the G-7, “I am among friends.” Lesson: When interest is at odds with sentiment, behavior is inconsistent, but interest wins out.