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RFE/RL Newsline, Vol. 4, No. 124, 00-06-27

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty: Newsline Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty <http://www.rferl.org>

RFE/RL NEWSLINE

Vol. 4, No. 124, 27 June 2000


CONTENTS

[A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

  • [01] FORMER ARMENIAN RULING PARTY REJECTS ENERGY EMBEZZLEMENT
  • [02] COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFICIAL SEES NO OBSTACLES TO ARMENIAN,
  • [03] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT ADMITS PRESENCE IN GEORGIA OF CHECHEN
  • [04] ...RULES OUT ACCESSION TO RUSSIA-BELARUS UNION
  • [05] ABKHAZIA AGAIN STAKES CLAIM TO RUSSIAN MILITARY EQUIPMENT
  • [06] ADJARIA ADOPTS OWN CONSTITUTION
  • [07] GEORGIAN DISPLACED PERSONS CALL FOR NEW ELECTIONS
  • [08] KAZAKHSTAN'S MUSLIMS CHOOSE NEW MUFTI
  • [09] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION APPEALS FOR KULOV ON EVE OF TRIAL
  • [10] KYRGYZ PARTY ANNOUNCES ITS ALIGNMENT WITH RADICAL OPPOSITION
  • [11] TAJIKISTAN MARKS THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF PEACE AGREEMENT
  • [12] WORLD BANK GRANTS FURTHER CREDITS TO TAJIKISTAN
  • [13] UZBEKISTAN, RUSSIA SIGN NEW MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENTS

  • [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

  • [14] SERBIAN OPPOSITION ON WAY TO JOINT SLATE
  • [15] SABAC OPPOSITION PROTESTS BEATING OF RFE/RL CORRESPONDENT
  • [16] MILOSEVIC BACKERS SLAM DJUKANOVIC
  • [17] BELGRADE RESENTS EXCLUSION FROM UN DEBATE
  • [18] VOTER REGISTRATION PROCEDING APACE IN KOSOVA
  • [19] KOSOVA TORTURE VICTIMS CALL FOR FORGIVENESS
  • [20] INTERNATIONAL AID AGENCIES WON'T BE KOSOVA'S 'SITTING DUCKS'
  • [21] SOLANA HAILS SERBIAN RETURN TO KOUCHNER'S COUNCIL
  • [22] BRITISH TROOPS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR THEFT
  • [23] WHO'S AFRAID OF 'BOTA SOT'?
  • [24] U.S. BLASTS PRESSURE ON SARAJEVO DAILY
  • [25] NEW MAYOR FOR BANJA LUKA
  • [26] ISARESCU READY TO CONTINUE AS ROMANIAN PREMIER
  • [27] COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NEW BUCHAREST MAYOR FOR
  • [28] DUTCH PREMIER IN ROMANIA
  • [29] BULGARIA TO PURCHASE U.S. JET FIGHTERS?

  • [C] END NOTE

  • [30] CONTRADICTORY EXPANSIONS

  • [A] TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

    [01] FORMER ARMENIAN RULING PARTY REJECTS ENERGY EMBEZZLEMENT

    ALLEGATIONS

    In a statement issued in Yerevan on 26 June, the

    Armenian Pan-National Movement (HHSh) charged that the ad hoc

    Armenian parliamentary commission that recently accused the

    previous, HHSh administration of condoning massive

    embezzlement in the energy sector was acting on instructions

    from the Armenian Revolutionary Federation-Dashnaktsutiun,

    Noyan Tapan reported. The HHSh statement, signed by vice

    chairman of the party's board and former Foreign Minister

    Alexander Arzoumanian, said the accusations are "a political

    manipulation" intended to deflect attention from the

    "complete failure" of the present administration's domestic

    and foreign policy. LF

    [02] COUNCIL OF EUROPE OFFICIAL SEES NO OBSTACLES TO ARMENIAN,

    AZERBAIJANI MEMBERSHIP

    Lord Russell Johnston, who is

    chairman of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of

    Europe, said in Strasbourg on 26 June that he anticipates

    that the council will decide later this week to admit both

    Armenia and Azerbaijan to full membership, RFE/RL's Armenian

    Service reported from Strasbourg. He said that admitting both

    countries simultaneously will help to resolve the Karabakh

    conflict. Some observers had anticipated that Azerbaijan's

    admission might be made contingent on whether the

    parliamentary elections to be held in November are free,

    fair, and democratic (see "RFE/RL Caucasus Report," Vol. 3,

    No. 21, 26 May 2000). LF

    [03] GEORGIAN PRESIDENT ADMITS PRESENCE IN GEORGIA OF CHECHEN

    FIGHTERS...

    Speaking at a news conference in Tbilisi on 26

    June, Eduard Shevardnadze admitted that some 200 Chechen

    fighters who have undergone medical treatment in Georgia and

    elsewhere are still in Georgia, Caucasus Press reported. He

    noted that during the recent visit to Tbilisi of Russian

    Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov the possibility of

    forming a Russian-Georgian joint commission to expedite the

    return of those fighters to Chechnya was discussed. LF

    [04] ...RULES OUT ACCESSION TO RUSSIA-BELARUS UNION

    Georgian

    President Shevardnadze told a news conference in Tbilisi on

    26 June that Georgia has no intention of joining the Russia-

    Belarus union, which he described as "radical," Caucasus

    Press reported. He added that Georgia will give preference to

    bilateral relations in pursuing further integration within

    the CIS. LF

    [05] ABKHAZIA AGAIN STAKES CLAIM TO RUSSIAN MILITARY EQUIPMENT

    Sergei Shamba, who is foreign minister of the unrecognized

    Republic of Abkhazia, told Caucasus Press on 26 June that

    Abkhazia will not permit arms currently deployed at the

    Russian military base in Gudauta to be removed from Abkhaz

    territory after the closure of that base (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 19 June 2000). Discussing the terms of that

    closure with Georgian leaders in Tbilisi on 24-25 June,

    Russian Deputy Premier Klebanov proposed that it be

    transformed into a training and leisure camp for the Russian

    peacekeepers currently deployed in Abkhazia under the CIS's

    aegis (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 June 2000). LF

    [06] ADJARIA ADOPTS OWN CONSTITUTION

    The Supreme Council of

    Georgia's autonomous republic of Adjaria on 26 June adopted a

    new constitution, flag, and national hymn composed by Supreme

    Council Chairman Aslan Abashidze, Caucasus Press reported.

    Georgian parliament Committee for Legal Affairs Chairman

    Giorgi Meparishvili said that the Adjar authorities did not

    consult the central government when drafting the constitution

    and that he cannot say whether it contravenes the Georgian

    Constitution. But President Shevardnadze said in his

    traditional Monday radio address on 26 June that he is

    confident the Adjar Constitution does not violate the article

    of the Georgian Constitution that defines Georgia as a

    unitary state. LF

    [07] GEORGIAN DISPLACED PERSONS CALL FOR NEW ELECTIONS

    The Union

    of Abkhaz Refugees, one of several organizations claiming to

    represent the interests of Georgian displaced persons forced

    to flee Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 war, issued a statement

    in Tbilisi on 26 June calling for new Georgian parliamentary

    and presidential elections, Caucasus Press reported. The

    statement argued that the present Georgian leadership's

    policies have brought the country to the verge of catastrophe

    and risk precipitating the disintegration of Georgia as a

    sovereign independent state. LF

    [08] KAZAKHSTAN'S MUSLIMS CHOOSE NEW MUFTI

    The third congress of

    Muslims of Kazakhstan on 24 June elected as the country's new

    mufti Absattar Derbisaliev, a specialist in Arabic philosophy

    who previously served as a diplomat at Kazakhstan's embassy

    in Saudi Arabia, Interfax reported. His predecessor, Ratbek-

    hadji Nysynbaiuly, had been mufti since before the collapse

    of the USSR, according to RRE/RL's Kazakh Service. LF

    [09] KYRGYZ OPPOSITION APPEALS FOR KULOV ON EVE OF TRIAL

    Five

    opposition parties--El, Kairan-El, the Republican Party, Ar-

    Namys and the Party of the Democratic Movement of Kyrgyzstan-

    -issued a joint statement on 26 June castigating the Kyrgyz

    leadership's rejection of appeals by the Russian State Duma,

    U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and OSCE

    Secretary-General Jan Kubis on behalf of Ar-Namys Party

    chairman Feliks Kulov, RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported.

    Kulov's trial by a closed military court begins on 27 June.

    The joint statement said that the reason Kulov's trial is to

    be closed is to hide the fact that the charges of abuse of

    office brought against him are fabricated. LF

    [10] KYRGYZ PARTY ANNOUNCES ITS ALIGNMENT WITH RADICAL OPPOSITION

    Also on 26 June, Kairan-El chairman Dooronbek Sadyrbaev told

    a press conference in Bishkek that his party, which had

    hitherto been a part of the moderate opposition, had decided

    two days earlier to align with the radical opposition,

    RFE/RL's Bishkek bureau reported. He said that step was taken

    as a direct response to the anti-democratic policies of the

    present Kyrgyz leadership, in particular the arrest of Kulov.

    LF

    [11] TAJIKISTAN MARKS THIRD ANNIVERSARY OF PEACE AGREEMENT

    In a

    26 June radio address to mark the anniversary of the signing

    in Moscow on 27 June 1997 of the peace agreement that ended

    the civil war, President Imomali Rakhmonov said the

    significance of that document in the country's modern history

    is equal to that of its 1991 declaration of independence,

    ITAR-TASS reported. He said the 1997 agreement laid the

    foundations for an economic and democratic upswing, according

    to AP. Rakhmonov also called for renewed international

    efforts to end the war in neighboring Afghanistan LF

    [12] WORLD BANK GRANTS FURTHER CREDITS TO TAJIKISTAN

    The World

    Bank has granted Tajikistan two credits of $20 million and

    $470,000, Interfax reported on 26 June. The larger sum is

    intended for modernizing of the agricultural infrastructure,

    including developing irrigation systems, and improving the

    quality of drinking water. The smaller credit is to finance a

    study on preventing natural disasters. LF

    [13] UZBEKISTAN, RUSSIA SIGN NEW MILITARY COOPERATION AGREEMENTS

    Visiting Uzbek Defense Minister Lieutenant-General Yurii

    Akmazov and his Russian counterpart, Igor Sergeev, have

    signed further bilateral agreements on military cooperation,

    "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported on 24 June (see "RFE/RL

    Newsline," 13 December 1999). One of those agreements allows

    Uzbekistan to use Russian weapons testing facilities. Further

    agreements will be drafted on the training of Uzbek military

    personnel in Russia, the repair of all Uzbek military

    equipment in Russia, and the establishment of a joint venture

    with Russian and foreign participation to manufacture

    explosives. Russian Defense Ministry official Lieutenant

    General Vasilii Grigorev commented that Uzbekistan currently

    participates in all CIS defense initiatives. Uzbekistan

    declined last year to renew its participation in the CIS

    Collective Security Treaty. LF


    [B] SOUTHEASTERN EUROPE

    [14] SERBIAN OPPOSITION ON WAY TO JOINT SLATE

    Representatives of

    most of Serbia's fractious opposition parties and coalitions

    agreed in Belgrade on 26 June on a compromise list of

    candidates for the local elections expected later this year.

    The compromise focused on central Serbia and Sandzak. The

    representatives will meet on 2 July to reach an agreement on

    Vojvodina, "Blic" reported. Cedomir Jovanovic of the

    Democratic Party told the private Beta news agency that the

    parties have now done what the public has wanted them to do

    "for the past 10 years." The only important opposition group

    not present was Vuk Draskovic's Serbian Renewal Movement

    (SPO). "Blic" published an opinion poll on 26 June that

    showed the united opposition in first place, followed by the

    governing coalition of Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic

    and then the SPO. PM

    [15] SABAC OPPOSITION PROTESTS BEATING OF RFE/RL CORRESPONDENT

    Representatives of the opposition parties in Sabac issued a

    statement on 26 June to protest the recent beating of

    RFE/RL's Hanibal Kovac by bodyguards at a swimming pool and

    recreation center owned by a supporter of Vojislav Seselj's

    Radicals (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 June 2000). PM

    [16] MILOSEVIC BACKERS SLAM DJUKANOVIC

    The state-run Belgrade

    daily "Politika" on 26 June criticized Montenegrin President

    Milo Djukanovic for his recent apology to Croatian President

    Stipe Mesic for Montenegro's role in Milosevic's attack on

    Croatia in 1991 (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 June 2000). The

    daily wrote that Djukanovic has given in to "blackmail" and

    "soiled the reputation of the proud Montenegrins by dropping

    to his knees" before Mesic and the Ustashe. Velizar Nikcevic,

    who heads the pro-Milosevic Serbian People's Party in

    Montenegro, charged that Djukanovic's "gesture is a

    continuation of the policy of servility, treachery, hate, and

    provoking conflicts among his own people.... The Montenegrin

    regime is entering the last phase of treason," Reuters

    reported. Neither Milosevic nor his top aides have made any

    public statements on Djukanovic's remarks. PM

    [17] BELGRADE RESENTS EXCLUSION FROM UN DEBATE

    Yugoslav Deputy

    Foreign Minister Nebojsa Vujovic said in Belgrade on 26 June

    that the UN Security Council should have invited his

    government's representatives to take part in its discussions

    on the Balkans three days earlier, RFE/RL's South Slavic

    Service reported. He said that the decision to exclude

    Serbian officials was "politically motivated and

    counterproductive." Vujovic stressed that Yugoslavia is a

    "factor of regional stability and cooperation." On 23 June in

    New York, Russian and Ukrainian delegates stressed that

    Serbian representatives should be present for any discussion

    on the Balkans. U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke argued that

    Milosevic's representatives have no right to participate in

    UN discussions, an RFE/RL correspondent reported. PM

    [18] VOTER REGISTRATION PROCEDING APACE IN KOSOVA

    Liz Hume, who

    heads the OSCE's election commission in Kosova, said in

    Prishtina on 27 June that some 700,000 people have registered

    to vote in the local and municipal elections widely expected

    to take place this fall. She said that most who have

    registered are ethnic Albanians and that virtually no Serbs

    have done so, Reuters reported. Registration ends on 15 July.

    Three large and many smaller ethnic Albanian parties as well

    as several ethnic minority parties signed up during the party

    registration that ended on 11 June (see "RFE/RL Balkan

    Report," 27 June 2000). Hume said that the OSCE favors

    proportional representation in the elections in order to

    encourage all the parties to work together. She called

    "unacceptable" a first-past-the-post system, which the three

    larger groupings favor. No Serbian party has registered. PM

    [19] KOSOVA TORTURE VICTIMS CALL FOR FORGIVENESS

    An unspecified

    number of victims of torture and others marked the UN's

    International Day in Support of Victims of Torture in

    Prishtina for the first time on 26 June, AP reported. Adem

    Demaci, who spent 28 years in Yugoslav prisons and has been

    called the "Kosovar Mandela," called for forgiveness. "The

    heart can forgive so that we can get out of this hell we have

    in our soul." Veteran Kosovar leader Rexhep Qosja called on

    Kosovars not to "inflict the same pain that was inflicted

    upon us." Bernard Kouchner, who heads the UN's civilian

    administration in Kosova, called on people not to forget the

    families of torture victims. He appealed for the release of

    persons illegally detained and for clarification of the fate

    of the missing. PM

    [20] INTERNATIONAL AID AGENCIES WON'T BE KOSOVA'S 'SITTING DUCKS'

    Paula Ghedini, who is the UNHCR spokeswoman in Prishtina,

    said on 26 June that international agencies will not return

    to Serb-held northern Mitrovica until they receive

    unambiguous guarantees of their safety from local Serbian

    authorities. She said that recent statements by local Serb

    leader Oliver Ivanovic do not go far enough. She argued that

    "there is a feeling of impunity among [Serbian] mobs, they

    feel they can get away with anything," Reuters reported. She

    fears that "we will have somebody killed" if the agencies go

    back without guarantees. "We are not going to send in [our

    staff], thinking that they are sitting ducks again," Ghedini

    added. PM

    [21] SOLANA HAILS SERBIAN RETURN TO KOUCHNER'S COUNCIL

    Javier

    Solana, who is the EU's chief official for security issues,

    said in Brussels on 26 June that the only way for people to

    improve the situation in Kosova is to participate in the work

    of the UN civilian administration there. He praised the

    recent decision of the Serbian National Council to rejoin

    Kouchner's advisory body (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 26 June

    2000). PM

    [22] BRITISH TROOPS UNDER INVESTIGATION FOR THEFT

    Four members of

    the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers are under investigation by

    British military authorities in response to charges by ethnic

    Albanian civilians that the soldiers stole money and

    valuables from them, "The Guardian" reported on 27 June. PM

    [23] WHO'S AFRAID OF 'BOTA SOT'?

    Activists of the Democratic Party

    of the Albanians (PDSH), which is part of Macedonia's

    governing coalition, confiscated and destroyed "all" copies

    of the Tirana-based daily "Bota Sot" in the largely ethnic

    Albanian towns of Gostivar and Tetovo on 26 June, Reuters

    reported. The activists were angered by a recent article in

    "Bota Sot" alleging that the PDSH and its leader, Arben

    Xhaferi, have done nothing to help establish an independent

    Albanian-language university in Tetovo since the government

    was formed in November 1998. Xhaferi and other top party

    officials denied that they ordered the confiscation of the

    newspaper. Observers note that "Bota Sot" does not enjoy a

    reputation for the highest journalistic standards. PM

    [24] U.S. BLASTS PRESSURE ON SARAJEVO DAILY

    State Department

    spokesman Philip Reeker said on 26 June that "the United

    States strongly condemns efforts by the government of the

    Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina to intimidate the free

    press." He was referring to recent measures taken by the tax

    police against the Sarajevo daily "Avaz" (see "RFE/RL Balkan

    Report," 23 June 2000). Bosnian Prime Minister Edhem Bicakcic

    has called the tax investigation "routine," adding that some

    70 companies are currently under scrutiny, Reuters reported.

    PM

    [25] NEW MAYOR FOR BANJA LUKA

    The city council elected

    Independent Social Democrat Dragoljub Davidovic as mayor of

    the Republika Srpska's capital on 26 June. Wolfgang

    Petritsch, who is the international community's high

    representative, and Robert Berry, who heads the OSCE mission

    in Bosnia, sacked former Mayor Djordje Umicevic last fall

    (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 30 November 1999). PM

    [26] ISARESCU READY TO CONTINUE AS ROMANIAN PREMIER

    Governmental sources cited by Romanian Television on 26

    June said Prime Minister Mugur Isarescu is ready to

    continue as premier after the fall elections because "he

    would like to see through the objectives he has undertaken

    to accomplish." On 24 June, the leadership of the National

    Peasant Party Christian Democratic (PNLCD) discussed the

    possibility of nominating a "presidential-premier tandem"

    before the elections and said the Emil Constantinescu-

    Isarescu team might be a suitable choice. The proposal,

    however, was not discussed at a 26 June meeting between the

    PNTCD leadership and that of the National Liberal Party to

    discuss the future of the Democratic Convention of Romania.

    No decision was taken, but the two sides agreed that the

    electoral hurdle must be raised from 3 percent to 5

    percent. MS

    [27] COMPLAINT FILED AGAINST NEW BUCHAREST MAYOR FOR

    'DEFAMATION'

    Party of Social Democracy in Romania First

    Deputy Chairman Adrian Nastase is filing a complaint

    against new Bucharest Mayor Traian Basescu for "insulting

    comments and defamation," Romanian Radio reported on 27

    June. In an interview with the daily "Evenimentul zilei,"

    Basescu had used vulgar language in describing Nastase's

    alleged sexual preferences. Basescu says he had asked the

    reporter to keep the remarks "off the record" and

    apologized for having made them. Meanwhile, on 26 June,

    Basescu's Democratic Party officially nominated Anca

    Boagiu, director in the Transportation Ministry, as

    Basescu's successor to the portfolio. Aged 31, Boagiu will

    be the youngest government member. She will also be the

    only woman serving in the cabinet. MS

    [28] DUTCH PREMIER IN ROMANIA

    Visiting Dutch Premier Wim Kok on

    26 June said after talks with Isarescu that he is convinced

    Romania "is now in good hands" and that Dutch investors are

    interested in Romania. After talks with Constantinescu, Kok

    also expressed support for Romania's bid to join NATO and

    the EU, RFE/RL's Bucharest bureau reported. On 27 June, Kok

    addressed a joint session of the Romanian parliament. MS

    [29] BULGARIA TO PURCHASE U.S. JET FIGHTERS?

    Bulgaria is

    considering the purchase of an unspecified number of U.S.-

    made F-16 jet fighters, AP reported on 26 June. The Defense

    Ministry confirmed that Defense Minister Boiko Noev had left

    for the U.S. on 25 June but declined to comment on a report

    in the daily "24 Chasa" saying the purpose of Noev's trip was

    to decide on whether to purchase the fighters. MS


    [C] END NOTE

    [30] CONTRADICTORY EXPANSIONS

    By Paul Goble

    NATO expansion and EU expansion, long assumed to be

    complementary processes, are having an increasingly

    contradictory impact on those countries seeking to join one

    or the other or both, on the current members of these two key

    Western institutions, and on those countries like Russia that

    are unlikely ever to get into either.

    These unintended contradictions, British defense analyst

    James G. Sherr concludes in a recent paper released by the

    Royal Military Academy Sandhurst's Conflict Studies Research

    Centre, reflect less the different purposes of the two

    organizations--NATO is a security alliance and the EU is an

    economic one--than the specific mix of policies they have

    adopted over the last decade concerning potential new

    members.

    Since the collapse of the Soviet empire, Sherr notes,

    NATO has done everything it can "to soften the distinction

    between members and non-members," thereby successfully

    avoiding the drawing of new lines in Europe while extending a

    penumbra of security to countries whose national sovereignty

    has been at risk.

    NATO, Sherr points out, has been willing and able to

    tailor its relationships with all Partnership for Peace

    countries, developing close links with some countries like

    the Baltic states and Ukraine and maintaining somewhat looser

    ties with the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia. And

    because it is concerned with national defense, NATO has

    insisted that fundamental change inside these countries be a

    precondition for cooperation.

    Indeed, Sherr implies, this willingness of the Western

    alliance to accept such diversity in the countries with which

    it is cooperating has become one of NATO's greatest

    strengths.

    The EU has taken a very different approach. Sherr notes

    its main focus throughout this period has been the deepening

    of the integration of current members. And consequently, it

    demands that those countries that want to become members

    transform themselves at home and be willing to impose tighter

    border controls vis-a-vis their neighbors who cannot or do

    not want to join.

    In that way, the EU draws precisely the kind of lines in

    post-Cold War Europe that NATO has sought to avoid. Moreover,

    because the accession process takes so long, this EU approach

    has the potential to dramatically expand the size of the gray

    zone of political and economic uncertainty between East and

    West. That, in turn, undercuts NATO's approach.

    Not surprisingly, these differences between NATO and the

    EU have had a serious impact on countries interested in

    joining one or the other or both. Many of those countries'

    leaders view NATO as the primary source of military security

    but are increasingly concerned by NATO's efforts to work out

    a cooperative relationship with Moscow, whose policies are

    the primary reason these countries seek a relationship with

    the Western alliance.

    At the same time, many aspirant countries see EU

    membership as the primary source of economic well-being. But

    they are nervous both about the impact of the demands of

    membership on their own societies and the tariff and visa

    walls the EU requires its members erect. Such tight borders

    will often cut these countries off from traditional partners,

    even after certain special transitional arrangements are

    approved.

    But because NATO and the EU have such different

    purposes, few in Eastern Europe accept the notion, often

    promoted in the West, that the expansion of one is the

    equivalent of the expansion of the other. Indeed, they are

    ever more sensitive to the distinctions than are current

    members or those who oppose both institutions.

    These distinctions are having an impact on NATO and the

    EU as they exist today. The approach of each of these

    institutions often undercuts the approach of the other,

    thereby reducing the effectiveness of both NATO's approach

    and the common European security and defense policy and also

    exacerbating tensions between the two groups.

    And this contradictory impact of the two approaches also

    has a major impact on countries like Russia, which are

    unlikely to join either. That impact is all the greater

    because the Russian government does not appear to fully

    understand the distinctions.

    Focusing on NATO's military past, Russian officials have

    largely ignored the alliance's variegated approach and its

    efforts to avoid drawing lines. And consequently, they have

    been almost unanimous in opposing the eastward expansion of

    the alliance, even as the alliance seeks to cooperate with

    Moscow.

    And focusing on the EU's economic role, these same

    Russian officials have largely ignored the tight borders EU

    membership requires and the impact such borders might have on

    the Russian economy. Not surprisingly, most of them have

    welcomed EU expansion as a substitute for NATO growth, even

    though EU expansion might be more damaging to some Russian

    interests.

    As Sherr notes, neither NATO nor EU leaders appear to be

    fully aware of the impact of such contradictions. Unless they

    consider them in the near future, both organizations will be

    helping to create a world in Eastern Europe very different

    from the one they and the countries of that region say they

    want.

    27-06-00


    Reprinted with permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty
    URL: http://www.rferl.org


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