The U.S. White House and State Department, the European Union, OSCE chairman-in-office Bronislaw Geremek and several Western and North European governments have applauded the changes introduced on June 22 by the Latvian parliament to the citizenship law. The supportive statements, issued between June 23 and June 25, express confidence that a good basis has been laid for normal Russian-Latvian relations. All the statements stress that the changes follow international recommendations, including those of the European Union and of the OSCE. (BNS, June 24 and 25)
These assessments contradict Moscow’s claim that Latvia failed to follow the international recommendations and that Russian-Latvian relations “can not develop normally.” ” (see the Monitor, June 25) Latvian Foreign Minister Valdis Birkavs concluded yesterday that “Russia will keep up the anti-Latvian campaign in order to test Latvia’s abilities and the level of support to Latvia from her partners.” Birkavs spoke after attending a session of the Council of Baltic Sea Countries, where all the foreign ministers contradicted Yevgeny Primakov’s negative assessment of the Latvian amendments. His Finnish colleague advised Primakov “not to break the camel’s back” with further demands on Latvia. (BNS, June 25)
Speaking at the Royal Institute for International Affairs in London yesterday, Primakov used the term “red line” in warning against the admission of “former Soviet republics” to NATO. (Itar-Tass, June 25) The term, which refers to the Baltic states, surfaced publicly last month in Moscow at an international symposium sponsored by the hardline Duma.
YELTSIN POSTPONES VISIT TO UKRAINE SINE DIE.