Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 23

“Although we have decided to join the Partnership for Peace program, our position on NATO expansion remains unchanged: we are against it,” President Boris Yeltsin told Moscow television May 31. At the signing, Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev said that NATO “must cease to be a military bloc, must become a political organization, and change its institutions and basic documents in order to become a part of an all-European security system,” Interfax reported. Unnamed senior officials accompanying Kozyrev to Holland told Interfax that NATO had agreed to “cooperate with Russia in settling crises in Europe.” Russian commentators remained divided on Moscow’s approach to the Western defense alliance. Most continued to oppose it, but others, including Duma defense committee chairman Sergei Yushenko, said Moscow could not block it and therefore should seek associate membership. Kuranty reported May 31. Perhaps the sharpest comment about NATO came in an article by Moskovskie novosti deputy editor Dmitri Sabov. He wrote in this week’s issue of the paper that “Without losing a single soldier, NATO is suffering its first defeat in history”–in Bosnia. Sabov’s implication, of course, is that Western and American behavior in Bosnia have undermined the alliance far more than anything Moscow could have done.

Chechen War Continues.