In proclaiming that Moscow will pursue a more assertive foreign policy, consonant with Russia’s role as a "leading power without whose participation no key problem can be solved," the foreign policy section of Yeltsin’s newly announced platform seemed to offer little that was new or unexpected. Yeltsin did appear to prioritize relations with the "near abroad," stating that Russia would pursue maximum integration of the CIS while actively defending the rights and interests of Russian-speakers outside of Russia. He also called for the building of equal partnerships with the West and East and, in a jab at NATO, the creation of an all-European security system free of divisions. Yeltsin said that START-2 was in Moscow’s interests, but that ratification would depend upon U.S. adherence to the 1971 ABM Treaty. Moscow, he said, would seek to guarantee favorable conditions for winning access to new markets abroad while strengthening its positions in traditional markets. (Reuter, May 31)
…Fielding A Smaller But Better Equipped Army.