Lebed sells soft line to Nato
Monday 07 October 1996
Over the last few weeks, the retired general has issued several thunderous warnings about the consequences of Nato expansion, but he struck a more moderate note when he prepared yesterday to meet his former Cold War foes.
He looked forward to a "complicated but civilised dialogue", he said, although he added that details of his new proposals were for the ears of Javier Solana, Nato's secretary-general, whom he meets today.
Nato officials have been stressing that Mr Lebed is on a fact-finding trip which is part of a wider policy of closer contacts with Russia, a move which reflects their anxiety to play down the importance of the meeting in case it goes wrong.
In recent weeks, Nato has been receiving mixed messages from Russia, not least because Moscow's senior officials tend to be more damning at home than they are in the West. Although Russia has consistently opposed Nato's plans to expand into Hungary, Poland and the Czech republic, Moscow has wavered be- tween the conciliatory and the hardline.
The hospitalised Boris Yeltsin recently indicated that he wanted a treaty with Nato which would govern Russia's relationship with the alliance, before it goes ahead with expansion - a suggestion which met with approval within Nato. And his foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov, has stressed that he does not want the expansion issue to threaten co-operation between Russia and the West.
The defence minister, Igor Rodionov, last week suggested that arms reduction agreements would be in jeopardy if Nato pressed ahead with its plans, which most Russians see as a throwback to the suspicion and hostility of the Cold War. He called for the alliance to transform itself into an international peace-keeping organisation, under the United Nations.
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
Russian hack of President Obama's emails worse than previously admitted
Aaron and Melissa Klein: Oregon anti-gay bakers ordered to pay $135,000 after refusing to make cake for same-sex wedding
UK weather: Britain braced for snow to replace sun as arctic air mass moves in
Nepal earthquake: US Pastor Tony Miano sparks outcry by suggesting Nepalis should convert and not rebuild their 'pagan shrines'
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
£28000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...
£19500 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Knowledge of and ability to use...
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: They pride themselves that they...
£19000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This pharmacy group are looking...