US envoy to reassure Poles of future in Nato
Wednesday 07 February 1996
Central Europe Correspondent
A senior US official will tell Polish leaders today that their country remains on course to join Nato, despite mounting Russian opposition to the enlargement of the alliance.
In talks with President Aleksander Kwasniewski and senior ministers, the Assistant Secretary of State, Richard Holbrooke, will spell out Washington's commitment to the principle of enlargement and discuss ways in which the process can be made more palatable to Moscow. He will stop short, however, of offering his hosts what they most want: a firm date and terms for entry.
"Mr Holbrooke will offer reassurance that US policy has not changed and that the Russians have no veto," said an official at the US embassy in Warsaw.
Mr Holbrooke's visit to Poland comes at a sensitive moment in the debate over Nato's future. In a paper presented to international security experts meeting in Munich last weekend, Russia's deputy defence minister, Andrei Kokoshin, caused consternation by arguing that Nato enlargement to the east would usher in a new era of "dangerous confrontation between Russia and Nato" and was aimed at delivering "the final blow to the Cold War enemy".
Although Moscow has long since made its objections to Nato enlargement clear, the tone of them has become increasingly strident in the run-up to the presidential election later this year. "Kokoshin's remarks sent shivers through my countrymen's bones," said Andrzej Olechowski, a former Polish foreign minister attending the conference.
Since becoming President late last year, Mr Kwasniewski, a former Communist, has made it clear that the goals of Nato and European Union membership remain his country's top priority. At the same time, he has signalled that he wants to improve relations with Russia.
Although there is no official timetable for enlargement, Western diplomats in Warsaw believe that decisions on new members could be taken by as early as next year, with Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic considered to be the front-runners for membership, possibly by early 1998.
Newcastle manager taunted again as his side loses to Stoke
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before a character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 Pope Francis assures atheists: You don’t have to believe in God to go to heaven
Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
Isis an hour away from Baghdad - with no sign of Iraq army being able to make a successful counter-attack
Car tax disc changes: Two days to go - and they affect you much more than just not displaying a piece of paper
British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin wedding: The famous congratulate actor and human rights lawyer after Venice nuptials
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
- < Previous
- Next >
£40 per day + Travel Scheme : Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client ...
NEGOTIABLE: Austen Lloyd: TRUST ACCOUNTANT - KENTIf you are a Chartered Accou...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: randstad education are curre...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: You must:- Speak English as a first lang...