Russia Table of Contents

The January 1993 draft foreign policy concept of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs called for increasing ties with NATO through the North Atlantic Cooperation Council and other means, including military liaison, joint maneuvers, and exchange visits. Russia objected to full NATO membership for Poland and other Central European states, so the United States proposed establishment of NATO's Partnership for Peace (PfP) in the fall of 1993. The PfP was to be an ancillary of NATO, consisting entirely of the former Warsaw Pact states and former Soviet republics. By the end of 1995, twenty-seven states--the entire complement of those two groups--had joined. Yeltsin supported Russia's membership in the PfP in his "state of the federation" address to the Russian parliament in February 1994, but he opposed the future inclusion in NATO of Central European states as unacceptably excluding Russia from participation in European affairs.

In response to NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb forces in April 1994, Yeltsin hinted that Russia might delay signing the PfP agreement. Instead, Kozyrev announced shortly thereafter that the Russian ministries of foreign affairs and defense had decided that Russia should have a special status in the PfP "to protect it from hostile acts by NATO." In May 1994, the Russian Security Council called unsuccessfully for NATO to agree to a list of special privileges for Russia. The Russian delegation walked out of the December 1994 signing ceremonies for membership in the PfP before finally joining in June 1995.

At the Budapest meeting of CSCE heads of state in December 1994, Russia called for the CSCE to transform itself into the major security organization in Europe. The CSCE rejected Russia's proposal, but it did agree to change its name to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) to reflect its status as a permanent organization. The West viewed Russia's overture as seeking a new forum from which to gain influence over NATO and other Western organizations. Through 1995 Russian spokesmen continued their criticism of NATO, including its air strikes in Bosnia, and called for an alternative European security structure. Nevertheless, Yeltsin vetoed a State Duma resolution canceling Russia's PfP membership.

In late 1995, Russia agreed to join NATO's efforts to enforce the Dayton Peace Accords, formally signed in December as the Peace Agreement on Bosnia-Herzegovina, to end the conflict in Bosnia. In January 1996, some 1,600 Russian troops arrived in northern Bosnia to work closely with United States forces as part of the Bosnian Peace Implementation Force (IFOR). In the first six months of that arrangement, little controversy arose over command roles or goals.

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Source: U.S. Library of Congress