Opening an international conference on NATO’s eastward growth in Vilnius yesterday, Lithuanian President Valdas Adamkus called for an “unrestricted enlargement process.” Only membership of NATO, supplemented by European Union membership, he stressed, can ultimately guarantee the security of the region’s countries. Expressing concern over “some countries’ attempts to restrict the enlargement of NATO and the EU,” Adamkus singled out Russia’s opposition to the accession of Central and East European countries to the alliance. Such opposition “can only be described as an attempt to curtail these countries’ freedom of choice.” (BNS, Russian agencies, September 3)
Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski, co-hosting the Vilnius conference with Adamkus, announced that Poland would, from within NATO, support Lithuania’s efforts to join the alliance. Adamkus and Kwasniewski had held talks the preceding day as part of regular high-level Lithuanian-Polish consultations. (BNS, Polonia TV, September 2) The two countries are moving toward a special relationship which illustrates, on the one hand, Lithuania’s gravitation toward Central Europe, and, on the other, Poland’s strong interest in Baltic security.
A BELARUSAN PERSPECTIVE ON SUVOROV.