Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 51

An inconspicuous but important and previously unseen nuance has appeared in Kiev’s statements on the enlargement of NATO. Foreign Minister Hennady Udovenko and the head of the foreign policy department of President Leonid Kuchma’s administration, Volodymyr Ohryzko, urged in separate statements on March 11 and 12 that "NATO’s door must remain open to all countries interested in joining the alliance in the future." These statements coincide with British foreign secretary Malcolm Rifkind’s address describing Ukraine as the key to European geopolitics and urging the eventual enlargement of NATO all the way "to Ukraine’s eastern border." (See Monitor, March 11) Rifkind delivered his address in the U.S. while Udovenko was visiting there for talks with Secretary of State Madeleine Albright on what she termed "formalizing NATO-Ukraine relations."

A Ukrainian Foreign Ministry spokesman yesterday redefined Kiev’s priorities in the negotiations on a "special partnership agreement" with NATO. The negotiations are to begin at NATO headquarters next week, and those priorities are now said to include: "a mechanism for Ukraine to appeal to the alliance in case of necessity;" permanent institutionalization of links between Ukrainian government agencies and NATO; and written guarantees that Ukraine will not become a "gray zone." (Interfax-Ukraine, March 11-12)

Ukraine Willing to Send Peacekeepers to Transdniester.