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ENHANCING REGIONAL SECURITY:RUSSIAN AND CENTRAL EUROPEAN PERSPECTIVES

Warsaw, Poland
May 16-18, 1997


Preface

Officials and experts from Western and Central Europe, Russia, and theUnited States gathered in Warsaw in May 1997 under the auspices of theProject on Ethnic Relations (PER) to consider the consequences ofprospective NATO expansion for their future relations. Their discussions anddebates are summarized here.

As readers of PER's reports are aware, the problems of interethnic relationsin the formerly Communist countries have become inextricably intertwinedwith regional and international security issues. The ongoing reconstructionof Europe's security architecture is therefore a matter of urgent interestto all who are concerned with the peaceful management of ethnic divisions.

The Warsaw meeting was the third in a series organized by PER to bringtogether decision-makers from across the region and from the United Statesand Western Europe for discussions of the changing relationships amongRussia, newly independent states of the former Soviet Union, and formermembers of the Warsaw Pact, in the larger context of East-West relations.The first two meetings, which were held in Moscow in 1995 and 1996, weremotivated by concern over the nearly total breakdown of communicationbetween Moscow and former Warsaw Pact members as both looked toward the Westand ignored one another. Mutual ignorance has been the result, including theloss of opportunities to cooperate on overlapping ethnic issues or toappreciate their full impact on the region as a whole. As the participantsnoted in all three meetings, it is a measure of the gap that theintervention of a Western non-governmental organization has been required toprovide a framework for discussions that should be taking place directly.

Such poor communication is not simply a product of neglect or carelessnessbut reflects most of all the profound differences between the world views ofthe Central Europeans and the Russians about their respective roles inEurope's post-communist world and their relations with one another. Althoughthe main theme of the Warsaw discussion was the continuing debate over theprobable political and military consequences of NATO enlargement, it couldbarely conceal the underlying cultural and psychological issues of nationalself-identification and definition, as readers will see.

All of this suggests that, long after the particulars of NATO enlargementare finally digested by both supporters and opponents, the much olderquestions of Russia's place and nature, and Russia's relations with itsneighbors, will remain on the agenda of ethnonational issues. The emotionaltone of some of the exchanges recounted in this report is a reminder of howpolitical outcomes of historic importance are influenced by the ways thatnations, rationally or not, perceive themselves and others.

Meanwhile, it is essential for all concerned to continue their quest forsome degree of common understanding, especially in the face of what willsurely be continuing disagreements.

A list of participants is appended to the report. Although many of themoccupy official posts, they attended and spoke in their individualcapacities.

We gratefully acknowledge the contributions of Ivan Gabal, Boris Makarenkoand Thomas Szayna, who prepared the agenda. We also acknowledge withpleasure the assistance rendered by Henryk Szlajfer, Ambassador JanuszReiter, and Janusz Onyszkiewicz in making practical arrangements for themeeting in Poland.

Thomas Szayna prepared the report. Aleksey Grigor'ev, PER Program Officer,also contributed. PER takes full responsibility for the report, which hasnot been reviewed by the participants.

Reports on the two earlier meetings in the series are available from PER:

Ethnonationalism: Fears, Dangers, and Policies in the Post Communist World(1995), and Russia and Eastern and Central Europe: Old Divisions and NewBridges (1996).

Allen H. Kassof, President
Livia B. Plaks, Executive Director

Princeton, New Jersey
August 1997


Note on Terminology

In order to keep the discussions both frank and flexible, none of theparticipants spoke for attribution, and none presented papers, though somemade lengthy presentations. The main division emerged between the Russianparticipants and those from all the Central European countries.

For stylistic clarity in this report, participants from the Czech Republic,Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia,and Ukraine are identified simply as Central Europeans (though theidentification of Ukraine as a Central European country may not be strictlyaccurate). The other participants are identified as Russian, U.S., or WestEuropean. This terminology of course does not imply that Russia is notlocated in the eastern part of the European continent. It is worth notingthat the Russians and the Central Europeans all emphasized that politicallabels based on Cold War terminology are no longer accurate or useful.

Regarding NATO's intention to accept new members, Russian participantsfavored describing the process as "NATO expansion"; the Central Europeanstended to refer to the process as "joining NATO" or simply as "NATOenlargement." The debate on which term to use came up during the initialsession of the workshop. A Russian justified the use of the term "expansion"by pointing out that it had been used in a recent speech by PresidentClinton himself. A Central European pointed out that "expansion" and"enlargement" are virtually identical terms in English but not in Slaviclanguages, where they have different meanings: "expansion" has a distinctlyaggressive connotation. Another Central European suggested the term"spreading" rather than "expanding." This exchange showed the impact of thedifferent terms used, and brought out the importance of attention toterminology and sensitivity to the way words are translated and understood.This report will use the term "NATO enlargement," which is commonly used inthe U.S. It is not intended to imply a favorable or unfavorable opinion ofthe process.


Summary

The meeting was the third in a series initiated by the Project on EthnicRelations. The purpose of the series is to provide a neutral forum forpolicy-makers from Russia and Central Europe and their Western counterpartsto meet and discuss the state of their relations and its place in theprocess the of transformation of the European security system. The dialoguealso plays an important role in the larger trans-Atlantic framework. Thefollowing points emerged as central during the discussion which took placein Warsaw on May 16-18, 1997.

Once again it became clear that even after the signing of the Founding Actbetween Russia and NATO, the Russians and the Central Europeans still holdopposing views of NATO enlargement. The Central Europeans see NATO as acorner-stone of future security architecture in Europe. They see theirmembership in NATO as being a natural way of participating in building thatarchitecture. The Russians still see NATO as an anti-Russian military andpolitical bloc and claim that its enlargement is aimed against Russia andthat it will eventually keep them away from Europe. While opposingenlargement of NATO, however, Russia does not oppose the enlargement of theEuropean Union.

The Central Europeans presented a variety of arguments in favor of theircountries joining the alliance. They argued that their membership in NATOwill help to overcome the Cold War divisions in Europe and will help thesecountries to play a role in upholding security and preventing conflicts andto seek a share in the responsibility for security in Europe. They alsopointed out that NATO will assist in easing ethnically-based tensions andmoderating ethnonationalism and will speed up the all-European integrationprocess and help their countries to join a value-based community ofdemocracies. Another set of arguments dealt with combating contemporarythreats such as organized crime and terrorism. The Central Europeansemphasized that it was not a fear of others that motivated their countriesto aspire to join NATO and the EU but the promise of a more harmoniouscontinent and the end of traditional power politics.

Participants from several Central European countries testified that theenlargement process offered them incentives for cooperative behavior andprepared the ground for permanent stability in their bilateral relations.Romania's treaties with Hungary and Ukraine, Slovenia's treaties withHungary and Italy, and the Polish-German, Slovak-Hungarian, andPolish-Lithuanian treaties were cited as examples. They also noted that anumber of problems remained, especially in Slovak-Hungarian relations, andencouraged the sides to move toward resolving their differences.

A number of US and West European participants commented that NATOenlargement is the best available answer to the question of improving thequality of European and trans-Atlantic security.

The arguments of Russian participants centered on the negative consequencesof enlargement. According to them, enlargement will lead to the loss of anopportunity to create an alliance that would span the entire northernhemisphere. They argued that the decision had failed to take into accountthe psychological impact it would have on the Russian elite. It alienatedRussia from Western civilization, keeping it outside of the integrationprocess. The Russian participants felt that Russia is a part of Europe andshould not be excluded from the all-European integration. The decisions thatshould have been made by Russia and all Europeans together have been made byUS and West Europeans alone. The Russians emphasized that enlargement hasbeen pushed forward for the short-term goals of preserving NATO. Theybelieve that misperceptions and ethnonational biases lie behind some of theCentral European aspirations toward NATO. The Russians mentioned possibleMoscow countermoves as responding to NATO enlargement. Some saw theimprovement in Chinese-Russian relations and the Russian-Belarusian union asclear signs of such countermoves. On the other hand, Russian participantsforesaw the development of political, economic, and military relationsbetween Russia and the West after the signing of the NATO-Russia FoundingAct. Taking enlargement as a given fact, the Russians proposed activecooperation in the Russia-NATO Council and making the Council an influentialand real institution. They also suggested continuing to seek solutions tothe current security problems outside the NATO framework.

A number of Central European and Western participants pointed out that nopolicy of isolating Russia exists, that Russia is self-isolating. In thiscontext they mentioned Russia's inclusion into G-7 and the signing of theFounding Act.

Both Russians and Central Europeans felt that the relations between them arenot extensive enough. They voiced their support for the improvement ofrelations following the first wave of enlargement.

Participants devoted special attention to Slovakia and to the Baltic states.

The meeting did not produce a document or an agreement. However, a number ofconcrete suggestions were made toward enhancing regional cooperation. It wasalso agreed that it would be useful to continue a structured dialogue underPER auspices.


Introduction

The Project on Ethnic Relations is sponsoring a series of discussionsbetween Central Europeans and Russians on the issues that divide them. Thefirst meeting, which took place in Moscow on January 20-21, 1995, dealt withthe dangers of ethnonationalism as potential sources of conflict andtension. Russian military action in Chechnya provided the background and wasa source of much controversy during those discussions. The second meeting,in Moscow on March 29-30, 1996, also tackled the larger issues of security,including reasons for the limited ties between Russia and Central Europe,and the differences over NATO enlargement. The third meeting, in Warsaw onMay 16-18, 1997 and which is reported here, focused on the main securityissue in Europe: the impending eastward enlargement of NATO.

The overall theme of the meeting was the attempt to gain insight andunderstanding of the future security architecture in Europe. The agenda wasset up to allow for elaboration by the participants of the rationale fortheir countries' foreign policy development since the fall of communism, andto place security policy in that context. Besides the larger securityoutlooks, moderating ethnonationalism and advancing economic cooperationprovided sub-themes. A specific goal of the meeting was to work outpractical suggestions and guidelines for policy-makers to ease tensions andto encourage mutually acceptable solutions.

This report groups the discussions analytically along the lines of thesethemes. It does not attempt to give a detailed version of the discussions,but to capture all of the main points. Although the security theme came upthroughout the meeting, other themes -- moderating ethnonationalism andenhancing economic cooperation--also came up frequently. The impending NATOsummit in Madrid and the expected NATO invitation to several CentralEuropean countries to begin accession negotiations provided a backdrop and aframe of reference. Discussions on the role of Russia in the future securityarchitecture in Europe, the pace of NATO enlargement, and the consequencesof enlargement formed the primary focus of the meeting.


Context

At the outset, a U.S. and a Russian participant set the stage for themeeting. The U.S. participant focused on the post-1989 transformation fromthe communist system throughout Central and Eastern Europe, which has led tofundamental realignments in domestic and foreign policies. The consequencesof the realignment include many positive and constructive developments, butthey also include the emergence of some new conflicts. Aspirations byCentral Europeans to join NATO and the EU demonstrate both consequences. Thereintegration of Europe along democratic lines is a welcome development. Onthe other hand, the unfolding of the process has led to some unhealthycompetition, new boundaries, and new areas of tension.

The Russian touched on the themes of continuity and change between the March1996 meeting and the present one. 1) Last year Russia was involved in andpreoccupied with the war in Chechnya. Now the war is over, allowing a newforeign policy paradigm for discussions of the relationship of Russia withNATO and the European Union. 2) Last year the looming presidential electionsin Russia provided for much nervousness and uncertainty on the part of theRussian participants. Now, after Russia has affirmed its democratic choice,a new domestic structural framework is in place. 3) Last year a tensesituation over the signing of the Russian-Belarusian treaty prevailed inMoscow, centering on the last-minute uncertainty regarding the signing ofthe document, the nature of the treaty, and international reaction to it.Now, a new treaty is about to be signed. The envisioned Russian-Belarusianunion amounts to a new development for European security architecture. 4)Fear of a "red" or at least a "rose" wave of communists or neo-communistscoming to power throughout Central and Eastern Europe (including Russia)formed a backdrop to last year's discussions. But these fears failed tomaterialize in Russia, Bulgaria, or other countries. (However, although thecommunists in Russia are not currently in a position to win presidentialelections, they still constitute the largest faction in the Parliament.)Now, as is evident from the turmoil in the Balkans (Albania, Bulgaria,Macedonia, Serbia), it is economic and social problems that have broughtabout serious political crises. Summing up, the Russian participant feltthat continuity was strong but change was also clear and evident.


NATO Enlargement: The Case For

Central European representatives presented a variety of arguments andexplanations for why their countries wished to join NATO. The argumentsranged from overcoming the forces that led to past rivalries in Europe, toplaying a role in upholding security and preventing conflicts, to easingethnically-based tensions through common integration, to joining avalue-based community of countries. The common thread in the arguments wasthat NATO membership and integration into existing European structures werenatural goals for the Central European countries to pursue for their ownsake, rather than because of any perceived threat.


Transcending Power Politics

A Central European placed the aspirations for NATO and EU membership in thecontext of both overcoming Cold War divisions and learning lessons from thepast. In his view, NATO and the EU underlie a new European order based on aslittle competition as possible between countries. Rather than embracing thenarrow views of sovereignty that prevailed before World War II, the newpost-communist order, anchored by the two organizations, offers a newbeginning for a united continent. Thus, it is not fear of others thatmotivates his country to aspire to NATO and the EU but the promise of a moreharmonious continent. The participant explained that what his country wasseeking was a share in the responsibility for security of Europe. From hiscountry's perspective, there is a clear lesson that "one can be a player ora playground." NATO provides a forum for even the medium and smallercountries to be the players in ensuring European security.

This Central European noted that contemporary Germany supports NATOenlargement as a way of affirming the changes since World War II. ToGermans, enlargement of the EU and NATO eastward is the best way to preventEurope from returning to the era of "changing alliances." The participantnoted that the first round of post-Cold War NATO enlargement eastward tookplace some years ago with the integration of the former German DemocraticRepublic. That was a unique case, but the first true wave of enlargement tobe launched at Madrid will finally overcome the old Cold War division ofEurope. This first wave will not solve all problems, as the issue of theaspirations of the Baltic states and Romania will remain. But the first waverepresents a good clear signal to everyone that the Europe of pre-1989 isgone for good, and that pre-1939 power politics will not return.

Several other Central Europeans developed this theme. One commented that thecommon thread in the Central European aspirations for NATO and EU membershipis the simple issue of joining democratic Euro-Atlantic institutions. NATOis an organization that ensures stability and prosperity, he said. Whilethere is currently no fundamental threat to the security of the CentralEuropean countries from without, and none in the foreseeable future, incontemporary Europe there remains a need to be proactive in diminishing thesources of conflict and taking responsibility for collective security. Thisparticipant's country has taken part in IFOR (the internationalimplementation force in Bosnia) and suffered casualties, but there was nodomestic uproar about the casualties, as the population understood that itwas vital to contribute to European security.

NATO is the only effective security organization currently in existence inEurope, another Central European observed, pointing out that a securityorganization not dominated by one country but operating on the basis ofconsensus and democratic principles is particularly appealing to countriesconditioned by the experience of Nazi Germany and Soviet communistdomination.

Another Central European linked the advanced stage of transformation of someof the countries in the region to their readiness for NATO. He pointed outthat two of the three front-runners for accession to NATO in the firstround--Hungary and Poland--are led by governments consisting primarily ofpost-communist parties. In addition to exhibiting a high consensus on theissue of NATO enlargement across the political spectrum, these countrieshave been successful in their transition process. Through association withthe EU, these countries already share in European security. But they wish tocontribute in a more meaningful sense, in NATO, because they realize theneed by all to uphold security.

While agreeing with the basic idea that NATO as an organization has a rolein overcoming power politics in Europe, another Central European observedthat NATO itself has a basic need to enlarge and to stay open to membershipof countries ready and willing to join the alliance. Some Central Europeansfelt that the need for the organization to enlarge was even truer for thenew post-Cold War NATO, which is an organization dedicated to theconsolidation of democracy, dealing with unconventional security threats,and preventing conflicts.

In line with these remarks, a U.S. participant spoke out against seeing NATOas something frozen in place. The U.S. has led the process to enlarge NATObecause of the larger goals involved, especially the transformation ofEuropean security.


Avoiding Ethnonational Conflict

The enlargement process offers incentives for cooperative behavior andprepares the ground for permanent stability and future security in theregion, noted one Central European. He described his country's aspirationsto join NATO in the context of what he called the post-1989 "nightmare ofnationalism." Although Central and Eastern Europe are currently stable, hesaid, there remains the potential for nationalistically-inspired conflict.The eastward enlargement of institutions that have provided the basis ofsecurity and prosperity in the western part of Europe since the Second WorldWar can diminish nationalistic outbreaks and enhance overall Europeanstability and security, he said. Several Central Europeans echoed thesecomments.

One mentioned the link between security and democratization noted byImmanuel Kant in his idea of the "democratic peace." Observing that thislink holds only between established democracies, he pointed out that inemerging democracies there is a tendency to make nationalist appeals thatexacerbate conflict. Once democracy has a chance to develop, ethnonationalconflicts become less of a danger. It is in this sense of allowing democracyto grow that NATO can play a crucial role in Central Europe.

NATO enlargement has already diminished ethnonationalism in Central Europe,pointed out a U.S. participant. He cited the Romanian treaties with Ukraineand Hungary and the Slovak-Hungarian treaty as examples. A number of CentralEuropeans elaborated on this theme, offering specific details of bilateralrelations between countries.

One Central European observed that the incentive of NATO membership was notthe whole story. In the case of Romanian-Hungarian relations, the electionof a new government, the inclusion of the Hungarian minority in thegovernment coalition, and the growth of democracy in Romania were allcrucial factors. Still, awareness on both sides that they needed theagreement to be eligible for NATO made a basic treaty between the countriespossible.

Another Central European expanded on the benefits of aspirations toward NATOmembership. His country has solved problems with neighbors, he said, andsigned treaties with them, leading to greater security in the region; it hastaken collective security seriously by providing peacekeeping forces in theregion; and it has brought minority representatives into influential postsin the government. In the aftermath of the Hungarian-Romanian treaty and theelection of a new Romanian government, the Hungarian diaspora, especially inthe U.S., supported Romanian aspirations to NATO. Thus, cooperation andfavorable relations not only existed at the governmental level but extendedto popular perceptions.

Another Central European extended this analysis. He believed that Romania'sprevious inability to reach an agreement with Hungary was due in part to theopposition in parliament, but that this posture was not so much against thetreaty as against then-president Iliescu. The decisive results of theRomanian elections changed the whole situation. The new government inRomania realizes that it would jeopardize the future and its position inEuropean institutions unless it builds a sound relationship with Hungary.

Polish-Lithuanian relations provided another success story. A CentralEuropean described the Lithuanian treatment of minorities between 1990 and1993 as a product of the new Lithuanian state attempting to establishitself. The Polish-Lithuanian treaty of 1994, he said, resolved the problemsin bilateral relations.

The treaty between Slovenia and Hungary was also cited as an illustration ofthe trend toward accommodation in the region, a trend given impetus by NATOenlargement.


Voicing Reservations

Amidst the many positive remarks about the benefits of NATO enlargement forCentral Europe, a few participants noted continuing problems.

One participant felt that the incentive provided by NATO and EU integrationis not always strong enough. He observed that the Hungarian-Slovak treatywas the first and last treaty signed in the context of the Stability Pact,and he felt there is no longer any driving engine in the Stability Pact.(The Stability Pact was a program of the European Union to promotenegotiated settlements of interethnic and other disputes in post-communistcountries through state treaties and other means.) In the case of Slovakia,he said, the Meciar government did not seem to believe that NATO enlargementwould come about and thus failed to settle fully its bilateral issues withHungary. Another Central European agreed that the treaty is a good one, butthere is no political will to implement it, because of Meciar's problemswith it.

A third Central European disagreed with this portrayal of Slovak-Hungarianrelations. He noted that since the signing of the Slovak-Hungarian treaty,there have been over 70 ministerial or higher-level meetings between the twosides, trade between the two states has increased, and new border crossingpoints have opened. He felt that the Hungarian side has concentratedexclusively on the minorities issue, to the detriment of overall relationsbetween the two countries. He believed that the problem was between thepoliticians; in both the Hungarian and Slovak parliaments the previoussupporters of the treaty now either oppose it or abstain from voting onissues related to it. This participant felt there are no problems betweenthe two communities in Slovakia. In fact, the Hungarian minority in Slovakiais the only one in the region (out of all the countries with substantialHungarian minorities) where the Hungarian minority is growing. The problemis structural; there is no problem in a big country with a small minority,but a problem does arise in a small country with a big minority.

A West European also noted that problems between Moldova and Romania remain,and he suggested double citizenship as a solution. This suggestion wasdismissed by a Central European, who commented that Moldovans are Romanians,and that Moldova is not an ethnic question. He noted that Romania wanted anenhanced basic treaty with Moldova. The treaty could include a specialarrangement for Transdniestria.

Tensions between ethnic minorities and majority populations stempredominantly from economic rather than political or social causes,according to one Central European, who believed that when the economictransformation process is complete, ethnic problems will disappear. Forexample, when ethnic Hungarians in Romania feel that their opportunities inRomania are as good as the opportunities for them in Hungary, the problemwill be solved.

This argument was echoed by several other Central Europeans, one of whomlinked the issue of double citizenship and equal opportunities with anexample from Polish-German relations. The topic of double citizenship cameup before the signing of the Polish-German treaty in 1990. Although Germanydoes not allow double citizenship, Poland accepted it for its Germanminority, as a temporary solution. The arrangement has worked out, but theacceptance has led to a paradoxical situation in which some Polish citizensare already EU citizens. The larger problem is how to gain EU citizenshipfor all.


Common Values and Heritage

Some Central Europeans presented their countries' aspirations for NATO andEU membership in the context of common identity with the values of the twoinstitutions.

One participant characterized the issue as one of "belonging" to an area andan organization with which his country wishes to identify. He described NATOas a zone of stability, peace, and common democratic values, and he observedthat in his country the issue of NATO membership was put on the agendabecause of public pressure. Surveys show that a large majority of thepopulation favors integration into NATO, despite the necessity for higherexpenditures on defense. In 1989, when the communist regime fell, hiscountry had four theoretical options for foreign policy alignment:neutrality, self-reliance, Russia, and the West. Only the fourth choice madesense, he said. For his country, NATO membership was a seal of theirreversibility of democracy and market economy.

Several other explanations for aspiring to NATO membership were put forth,including considerations of status and prestige, and the usefulness of theorganization in combating contemporary threats such as organized crime andterrorism.

One participant argued that status and prestige are primary motivations foraspiring to NATO membership. He pointed out that the 12 countries that havedeclared their wish to join NATO have many different motivations, notnecessarily related to Russia. He believed that the common denominator is alack of regional self-esteem, stemming from internal deficiencies such aspoverty and social insecurity. He felt that the desire to join NATO isrelated to the status symbol of belonging to the West. He felt that the EUwould be even better but since that was not yet possible, the linking of EUand NATO membership makes belonging to NATO a necessity.

This argument did not gain much approval. According to other CentralEuropeans, status considerations, if important at all, were less importantthan other reasons for aspiring to NATO membership.


The Big Picture

Several U.S. participants attempted to place the discussions of NATOenlargement within a larger, long-term framework. Their comments built onthe argument that NATO enlargement will transcend power politics for anintegrated Europe.

The issue is how to build a new, better system of security so as to improvethe quality of life on the European continent, said one U.S. participant.The process of NATO enlargement has been launched, but it is still an openquestion how long the process will continue and which countries willeventually become members. The ongoing effort to develop democracy and freemarkets throughout Europe offers tremendous new opportunities. He asked theother participants to look beyond their differences regarding the pace andscope of NATO enlargement and to focus instead on their commonality.Compared with a more distant place, such as Asia, the European continent isclearly all "Western," whether east or west, Catholic or Orthodox, developedor emerging market economy. This participant stressed the importance oftaking a longer view of the world that is emerging as a result of rapidgrowth in Asia. The growing power of China, he observed, may become more andmore outwardly-focused. Such a development may force us to think more aboutour common ties.

Regarding the evolution of NATO, another U.S. participant asked, where do wewant to be in 15, 20, or 25 years? He felt that most Central Europeans wouldsay they want to be normal European countries (not "former communistcountries" or "former Eastern-bloc countries"), sharing in the prosperityand security that the countries in the western part of the continent nowtake for granted. Contemporary European prosperity is identified with the EUand security with NATO, he said. These two institutions are the means to anend and two sides of the same coin in the attempt to reintegrate peoples whoshare a common European culture. But whereas Russia has not opposed EUenlargement eastward, NATO enlargement has led to vociferous Russianopposition over the past three years. This opposition has caused sometensions in Russian relations with Central European and NATO countries.


The Nature of NATO

NATO is more than just an anti-Soviet military alliance, said another U.S.participant. It is a military alliance like no other in history, underpinnedexplicitly by a set of values and by such political institutions as theNorth Atlantic Assembly. Founded as a vehicle to prevent future Europeanwars, it reflects the realization that security cannot be ensured for allwhen it is defined in strictly national terms. NATO's integrated commandstructure and shared military assets make it very difficult for anyone tocontemplate using the military for national goals. This continues to beespecially relevant for Central Europeans, since, as small or mediumcountries, they tend to be the losers in larger power games, no matter whowins. This U.S. participant observed that the rationale for joining NATOpresented by some of the Central European countries is no different from theinitial rationale for setting up NATO and for its continuing existence.

NATO and the current NATO enlargement process are not about Russia, he said.NATO was about the Soviet Union, but that country no longer exists and,whereas the USSR could never be a partner for the U.S. (though the U.S.could work with the USSR in certain areas), Russia can be a real partner forthe U.S. in the global sense. In fact, NATO and NATO enlargement are aboutEurope. The U.S. presence in NATO has helped overcome the rivalries of thepast and given Germany the chance to play a constructive role on thecontinent.

For one Central European, the issue truly is about joining the organization,based on the criteria of the alliance, and determined individually on thebasis of internal readiness of the various Central European countries. Bymeeting the criteria, the formerly communist states will be no different inany major way from existing NATO states, such as Portugal or theNetherlands. Thus, the process of NATO enlargement serves the cause ofintegration by providing incentives to erase the divisions of the Cold Waras quickly as possible.


NATO Enlargement: The Objections

The points in favor of NATO enlargement found little resonance among theRussian participants. Their arguments centered on the negative consequencesthat enlargement will have on Russia and the world as a whole. Also, some ofthem saw negative driving forces behind the Central Europeans' aspirationsto NATO membership.


Isolation and Its Effects on Russia

One Russian called the decision to enlarge NATO the most idiotic decision inhuman history, because it has led to the loss of an opportunity to create analliance that would span the entire northern hemisphere. The decision toenlarge NATO, he said, failed to take into account the psychological impactit would have on the Russian elite. To the speaker it was a given thatRussia is a part of Western civilization and that Russia belongs to thefamily of Western countries. But as a result of the NATO enlargementdecision, he felt, Russia is going to create its own reality, not as part ofWestern civilization. Enlargement has been pushed forward for the short-termgoals of preserving NATO and dealing with the psychological security of theCentral Europeans.

Another Russian described NATO enlargement as a "serious mistake." The movesolves the issue of psychological security of the Central Europeancountries, he said, but it creates new problems, especially increasing thealienation between Russia and the West.

We all belong to the same [Western] culture, said another Russian, but weshould not overlook our differences. Sometimes it is easier to speak tothose who are distant, precisely because there are no "family quarrels"involved; civil wars tend to be the most difficult of all wars. Referring tothe old phrase about NATO being designed to "keep the Americans in, theRussians out, and the Germans down," this participant noted that no one nowspeaks of the need to keep the Germans down. While the need to keep theAmericans in still exists, do the Russians still need to be kept out? Thefact that many people do not consider Russia a part of Europe underlies manyof the current problems in NATO's relations with Russia. Pro-Westerndemocratic politicians in Russia felt defeated (in the domestic politicalsense), paradoxically, by their Western friends and because of outlooks inthe West that do not acknowledge Russia's place in Europe. The participantcommented that, even though he understood that NATO enlargement is notdirected against Russia, many Russians still remain unconvinced after threeyears of debate. They see NATO enlargement as a symbol of Russian isolationfrom Europe, especially in the security realm, since decisions that shouldhave been made together--by Russia and all Europeans--have been made by theUnited States and West Europeans alone. The participant urged others tounderstand the special situation that Russia faced after the fall ofcommunism. Russia has had to formulate foreign policy in a situation thatnever existed before. For the Central Europeans, the solution was easy: theycould join NATO. But no such easy solution existed for Ukraine and Russia.

Even though the majority of Russian society is pro-Western, said anotherRussian, there is very little pro-NATO sentiment in Russia, and evendemocratic elites fear that NATO enlargement will damage their domesticpolitical position by leading to more difficulty in integrating the countryinto the democratic community of European states. The existence ofpsychological stereotypes may be unfortunate but it is undeniable, forhistory plays a role. In this vein, the participant gave an example of arecent Russian visitor to NATO headquarters, who, after a day of briefingsabout the alliance, remarked what a good organization, but what a bad nameit has.

Most Central and East European states have little experience with democracy,noted one Russian. He believed that misperceptions and ethnonationalismunderlie some of the Central European aspirations toward NATO. He questionedthe assertions of Central European participants that negative stereotypes ofRussians, based on ethnonational prejudices, played no part in the CentralEuropeans' aspirations for NATO membership. He provided a poll revealingthat 68 per cent of people questioned in Lithuania saw Russia as a threat.The participant felt that in the minds of Central Europeans the Russianshave assumed the role of the threatening "outsiders."


Negative Consequences and Potential Russian Countermoves

Russian views of the likely negative consequences of NATO enlargementcentered primarily on the distancing from the West and other internationalmoves that Russia would take, as well as on the potential for a negativedomestic backlash.

After the signing of the NATO-Russia Founding Act, Russia will developrelations--political, economic, and military--with a number of major worldcenters, according to one Russian. He foresaw special relations with WesternEurope and the U.S., as well as with the former Soviet republics, andpossibly even some "Eastern neighbors." Rejecting the idea of Russia as apart of Western, Eastern, or Southern civilization, he said the country hadits own historical role based on an "in-between" nature that provided Russiawith a comparative advantage in the world. The rejection of Russia by theWest, as represented by NATO enlargement, he felt, reinforced the country's"in-between" character.

The improvement in Chinese-Russian relations and the Russian-Belarusianunion were clear responses to NATO enlargement, he said. He foresaw economicand military cooperation between Russia and China. Regarding Belarus, hefelt that the treaty would amount only to a symbolic union since, even ifthe treaty is signed, there are substantial forces opposing further steps.The union certainly represents an effort to protect Russian influence, hesaid, but it does not represent a move toward resurrecting the former USSR,since most people in Russia do not wish for that to happen. Finally, heforesaw a normalization of relations with some "southern" states as afurther response to NATO enlargement.

This participant outlined Russian national strategy as 1) realizing itsself-determination not as a part of Europe; 2) promoting its own militaryand economic interests; 3) ensuring military and political stability; and 4)satisfying its ambition to be a world power (with a voice in any major worlddecision).

The military implications of NATO enlargement are less important than otherconsequences of the move, according to another Russian. Enlargement pushesRussia toward China, he said. While Russia was not trying to organize acoalition against a NATO-centered world, if Russia had better relations withNATO it might act a bit differently toward China. Russian-Chinesecooperation in the military realm was not aimed against NATO, and Russianpolicy-makers realized the dangers of military cooperation with China, butthere is no other option, since Russia is being "pushed out of Europe," andmilitary and economic cooperation with traditional partners in "EasternEurope" is being cut off. Still, this speaker dismissed the idea of Chinabeing an alternative to the West for Russia, and he downplayed recentconcerns in Western media over the evolution of Russian-Chinese relationsand asked that the U.S. and others be less critical of Russian ties withChina. He asked the Americans rhetorically how they would feel if the U.S.bordered a united nuclear-armed Latin America with a billion people.Finally, the speaker saw another rationale for keeping good relations withChina: separatist sentiments there represent a threat to both countries.

NATO enlargement has nothing to do with the improvement in Russian relationswith China, according to another Russian. He also disagreed with his Russiancolleague's "negative" definition of Russia as having an "in-between"character. In the 11th century, Prince Vladimir chose the early Russiankingdom to be an eastern outpost of Christianity in the Western world, not awestern outpost of the eastern world, he noted. But NATO enlargement makesit difficult for Russia to be a part of the West. He dismissed the widelytouted economic arguments against the Russia-Belarus union (with the unionsupposedly amounting to an additional burden on Russia). If such argumentswere true and other issues were not important, then it would make sense forthe mayor of Moscow to get rid of most of Russia and become a modern stateon its own. There are many reasons, some difficult to quantify, for theunion, and it will proceed despite President Lukashenka's authoritarianstyle, which is irritating to Russia.


Russian, Central European Exchange

The issues of Russian-Belarusian relations and Chinese-Russian rapprochementled to an exchange with several Central Europeans. One felt that China hadtactical short-range motivations in pursuing a rapprochement with Russia,but that certain Russian actions, such as assistance in Chinese weaponsmodernization, could backfire. He described China as the last colonialcountry, mentioning Chinese control of Tibet and Xinjiang. Indeed, he feltChina was a civilization with huge regional differences, trying to be acountry. He urged the Russians to recognize that stability in China was ineveryone's interest. His view was that Russia turned to China as a marketfor its armaments because Russian armaments were no longer "salable" inCentral Europe.

On the topic of Belarus, this Central European felt that Belarus wouldremain an independent state, even if it cooperated closely with Russia, andhe felt that its survival as a state was important for stability in CentralEurope and for Russia. Another Central European pointed out that theRussian-Belarusian union is proceeding under odd conditions, in that thefurther Belarus moves away from reform, the closer it becomes an ally forRussia. He wondered just how long Lukashenka could manage to survive withoutassistance from Russia.

A Russian agreed that Belarus is important for European security as a whole.Russia is a positive force, encouraging democratizing tendencies in Belarus,and has tried to prevent Lukashenka from becoming even more authoritarian,he said. He reminded the others that NATO, too, has lived with authoritariancountries.


Rising Russian Ethnonationalism

A number of Russians commented on the domestic fallout in Russia from NATOenlargement. One noted that NATO enlargement has become more of a domesticthan a foreign policy problem in Russia. Some Russian politicians are openlysaying that the issue should be used to help establish Russian identity.Another Russian said that if there is no attempt to integrate Russia intothe Western world, and NATO enlargement proceeds, then the negativeconsequences will continue, and Russian ethnonationalism is sure to rise.Although he personally disliked such a turn of events, he was certain itwould occur. Another Russian noted that Russia is entering a period similarto that following the Crimean War--recovery from a major defeat.Paraphrasing Gorbachev, he said that Russia is not angry but it isconcentrating on finding its own advantages.

Another Russian commented that, in politics, perception is reality. He notedthat politicians in Russia will think about NATO enlargement from the angleof how to use the issue for their own advantage in domestic politics, andpoliticians do not think in long strategic terms, but only in three orfour-year terms relating to the next election. The NATO enlargement debateshave intensified the domestic political struggle in Russia over what anindependent Russia is about, in what direction it should proceed, and whatpartners it should have. Countries such as Iran are begging Russia for"partnership," he pointed out.


The Rejoinder

Central Europeans were not persuaded by the Russian arguments. One of themexplicitly noted his disappointment that the Russian position toward NATOenlargement had not changed much since last year's meeting. This participanthad expected a new Russian attitude after the NATO-Russia agreement. ManyCentral Europeans found the Russian fears to be misplaced or unfounded,though a few also felt that some of the fears were understandable. OneCentral European expressed understanding for Russia's need to disentangleitself from a post-colonial situation. In his view, the British and theFrench had empires, but Russia was an empire. Russians could not just sailback to the homeland, as the French and the British had done.


Russia's Special Interests

Several Central Europeans disputed the notion that Russian interests orsensitivities deserve special treatment. One said that Russian securityinterests are no better than other countries' security interests. Anotherclaimed that one Russian was asking a dozen or more countries in CentralEurope to subordinate their national security policies to Russianpsychological concerns.

Another Central European felt that Russia had some special rights, in thesense of having global security concerns and a privileged position in adialogue with the U.S. Unlike Russia, the Central European countries canonly contribute in a minor way to global security issues. But that is thewhole extent of Russian "special" rights. Russia's demands for additional"special" privileges and rights is neither constructive nor warranted.

Another Central European felt that the Russian formulation of the issuedealt more with the psychological realm of perceptions than with interestsdefined in a geopolitical sense. Indeed, on the level of interests, greaterstability and prosperity in Central Europe was in the Russian interest. Infact, Russian businessmen who engage in market-based business with CentralEuropeans are in favor of NATO and EU enlargement, he pointed out.


Isolation or Self-Isolation?

A West European accused the Russian side of not offering a viablealternative to NATO enlargement and expressed the opinion that the isolationthat the Russian speakers decried is self-inflicted. A Central Europeanpointed out that the "West" has made a much greater effort than Russiaherself to bring Russia into the West. He noted that the West has made manyoffers to Russia, such as NATO's Partnership for Peace program.

A Central European expressed his discomfort over the whole notion thatRussia is being excluded from participating in European issues because ofNATO enlargement. He argued that Russia as a world power, soon to be amember of the Summit of the Eight, is not on the same level as the mediumand small countries of Central Europe. Whereas Russia is a world player,even a fairly large European country such as Poland has no way to become amember of the G-7. This participant stressed that Russia has to accept thesame rules as other countries, and that means acceptance of democraticchoice of international affiliation. Regarding the issue of Russia's"isolation," a U.S. participant added that, since Russia comprises nearlyone-sixth of the world's territory, it would be impossible to isolate it andfoolish to try.

One Central European participant noted that the Russian objections have nolegal foundation, since a variety of international treaties such as theHelsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter affirmed the rights of countries toassociate with any organization they choose. He pointed out that, if Russiahad really believed that NATO was a threat, Russian policy-makers shouldhave applied to join the organization as soon as it became possible to doso.


Russian Ethnonationalism

Several Central Europeans expressed unease about Russian predictions of awave of ethnonationalism. One was disappointed that even liberal Russiansuse the symbolism of Russia as some kind of "caged beast" in order toblackmail other countries into granting special treatment. The speaker alsonoted that, if the Russians themselves warn that Russia can be a danger tothe world, then others have a historical obligation to be prepared for sucha contingency.

Warnings of a Russian domestic backlash did not produce any change of heartamong the Central Europeans. One stated bluntly that the Russian elitesshould prepare themselves for a big NATO enlargement.

Many Central Europeans and some U.S. discussants commented on the fact thatpublic opinion surveys show most Russians do not care about the NATOenlargement issue. Domestic social and economic problems are of much moreimportance to them. One U.S. participant noted that views on NATOenlargement are not all that different among the Central European andRussian populations, as most Russians either do not oppose or areindifferent to NATO enlargement. A Central European pointed out that opinionsurveys indicate Russians overwhelmingly are not opposed to some CentralEuropean countries, such as Poland, joining NATO. Indeed, millions ofRussians visit Central European countries and do not view Central Europeansas adversaries.

One Central European pointed out a contradiction in Russian objections toNATO enlargement. Since NATO was established to counter Soviet imperialistpower, Russian democrats only undermine their own position when they objectto enlargement, since doing so means admitting to a direct link betweencurrent Russian state interests and Soviet power. It is this contradiction,rather than the fact of NATO enlargement, that creates problems for theRussian elite.

A U.S. participant agreed with the existence of major differences betweenthe views of Central Europeans and Russian elites about NATO. Theseperceptions were summarized recently by an influential Russian MP, whocalled on the U.S. and NATO to ask Russia to join NATO as a way of changingthe discourse in Russia about the issue of enlargement. The MP felt thatRussia would not want to join the organization, but that the invitationwould have a profound domestic political impact. Such attitudes contrastwith the aspirations of Central Europeans, for most Central Europeans wouldwelcome an invitation to join NATO and assuredly accept it. This participantasked whether an understanding of these different attitudes could beaccepted without precluding other, mutually beneficial, relations.


Anti-Russian Motivations?

Many Central Europeans disagreed with the Russian suggestion thatanti-Russian motivations underlie Central European aspirations to NATOmembership. One said that his country wished to join NATO not because it was"against something," but because it was "for something"-namely a sphere ofpeace and prosperity in Europe. No one is forcing us to join NATO, saidanother, we want to. One observed that his country did not feel Russia was athreat, but that its instability and unpredictability were worrisome.Another noted that there might indeed be reason to fear Russia, a countrywhere the military has not been paid for months.


Stratification and New Lines of Division

A U.S. participant observed that the use of NATO as the primary vehicle forintegration of Europe has led to some negative consequences, such as newlines of division. A new stratification is now in place in Europe: old NATOmembers, soon-to-be NATO members, maybe NATO members, and never NATOmembers. These consequences of the enlargement process have long-termimplications that have not been adequately examined, he said. The easiestcases--Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary-have been dealt with, butwhat of the more difficult cases? Where do the Balkans, Russia, and the CISfit into this scheme? Moreover, the troubles in the Balkans show no signs ofgoing away. A Russian agreed that a stratified post-Madrid Europe will infact exist. But the point sparked many objections by Central Europeans.

A number either rejected the whole premise of stratification or saw itseffects as minor. One, who saw no such stratification, emphasized that, evenif his country were not to enter NATO in the first round (and it was notamong the three "front-runners"), it would still welcome the enlargementprocess, and its interest in joining NATO would remain.

Another Central European observed that the process of NATO enlargemententails new responsibilities for the countries accepted in the first round.It adds an incentive for close relations with countries that may not be inthe first round. Rather than leading to deterioration in relations, thissituation may in fact improve bilateral ties in the region. A number ofCentral Europeans agreed. In the words of one, good relations between thecountries in the first round and those not in the first round are preciselythe contribution the first wave members will bring.

A U.S. participant questioned the extent of stratification that NATOenlargement will cause, since the varying rates of economic transformationand the comparative advantages of certain countries have already led to muchdifferentiation among Central European countries in the new environment. Themain goal in contemporary Europe is to erase the Cold War division line, andNATO enlargement advances the process by breaking down residual barriers.

These observations were echoed by many Central Europeans. One remarked thatNATO enlargement will bring about partnership among equals for anever-increasing group of Europeans. Another remarked that, whateverdifferences emerge in the region as a result of NATO enlargement, they arerelatively minor, and the continuing process of integration will soon erasethem. In any event, he said, It is better to be stratified than polarized.

One Central European agreed partially with the idea that enlargement hasproduced some unforeseen problems. He noted that the debate on theenlargement had become "overheated" in his country. And he pointed out thatthe impending issuing of invitations in Madrid led to some problems inCzech-Slovak relations, since the Czech Republic was seen as likely to beinvited and Slovakia had dropped out of serious consideration for the firstround.

One Central European felt the discussion of stratification overemphasizednegative aspects. He noted a number of positive developments: 1) trilateraltalks between Russia, Ukraine, and NATO; 2) the Russian president's firstvisit to Kiev after many postponements, and the signing of theRussia-Ukraine treaty; 3) steps toward solving the problem of Transdniestriain Moldova; 4) Polish-Ukrainian relations, which have been good and aredeveloping toward even better ties. Although potential problems still wereplentiful, at the sub-regional level the most dangerous aspects weredeveloping in a positive manner. He did note that NATO enlargement poses aproblem for such countries as Ukraine, where there is some opposition to it.In such countries the process raises domestic problems, because publicopinion on the issue is sharply divided by region and political affiliation.This participant also pointed out that the states left out of the firstround of enlargement are increasingly squeezed between the nuclear powers ofNATO and Russia. He spoke in favor of advancing the process ofde-nuclearization of both sides.


Slovakia

The participants devoted special attention to Slovakia. One Central Europeanwondered what had gone wrong. Two years ago the country was widely seen as acontender for the first round of NATO enlargement; now its chances for thefirst round seem virtually nil. A U.S. discussant observed that, if Slovakiais not a NATO member, its exclusion poses problems for neighboringcountries, too.

One Central European felt that the primary issue Slovakia faced was whetherthere would be a second round of enlargement. Although he felt that Slovakiawas compatible with the first round NATO enlargement front-runners--Poland,the Czech Republic, and Hungary--he cited as the main failing in Slovakiathe lack of political will to carry out the agenda necessary to enter NATO.Officially, the country continues to aspire to membership in both the EU andNATO. And even though it was not in the first round of NATO enlargement,Slovakia will become a de facto member of NATO because of the impendingmembership of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. Nevertheless, theparticipant hoped that the lack of political will on the part of the currentleadership in Slovakia does not mean the end of Slovak chances formembership in NATO.

Another Central European felt that Slovakia's policy of seeking membershipin the organization would not change, and it would do its best to be in thesecond wave of enlargement. However, he noted there is bound to bedisappointment, especially since he assumed that the upcoming referendumwould show that the population supports entry into NATO. [Editorial note:The referendum, which took place after the meeting, was marred by extremelylow turnout and legal problems concerning the number of questions on theballot; it was declared invalid].

This participant also pointed out what he felt was unfair treatment and adouble standard in international media analyses of Slovak foreign relations.He cited as examples the recent Slovak trade agreement with Russia andSlovakia's purchase of arms from Russia. The treaty, he said, was virtuallyidentical to the Polish-Russian trade agreement, but, unlike thePolish-Russian agreement, the Slovak-Russian agreement was perceived bycommentators as somehow leading to a Slovak pro-Russian drift and away fromthe EU. In any event, 70 per cent of Slovak trade is now with OECDcountries, and suggestions of some kind of a Slovak move away fromintegration with the EU miss the mark. Similarly, when Hungary boughtarmaments from Russia in exchange for old Soviet debt, the deals were seenas normal, but when Slovakia did the same, it was treated as a sign of afurther Slovak drift toward Russia. The participant felt that Slovakia fellbehind the front-runners for NATO membership because of this kind of unfairtreatment. Slovakia, he said, simply wants good relations with allcountries, and, as a new state, is trying to establish its own identity.

According to another Central European, the current Slovak government has notadhered to standards of democratic behavior as commonly understood in mostof Europe. Its foreign policy has been Western-oriented, but its internalpolicy diverges from commonly accepted Western norms of behavior.

A U.S. participant observed that Slovakia is a new state with a substantialethnic Hungarian minority (much higher in proportion than in the formerCzechoslovakia), and the reaction of the Slovak government to any criticismor advice from the West on the minority issue has been quite hostile. Butthe EU and NATO advice stems from the principle that "if you want to be amember of our club, you have to play by the same rules." Another U.S.participant noted that questions about the quality of democracy in Slovakiahave been raised in an open fashion and in bilateral U.S.-Slovak talks.Raising such questions does not mean a rejection of Slovakia by NATO.Enlargement is a process, and the Madrid summit is only the first step inthis process.


The Baltic States

The situation of the Baltic states as a result of NATO enlargement alsoreceived some attention. A Central European commented that something"special" needed to be done regarding the Baltic states. They may not enterNATO in the first round, but they will need to be treated uniquely by NATO.He felt there is a need to overcome the psychological barrier of treatingthe Central European states that were annexed by the USSR (rather than justsubjugated) as different from other Central European countries. That type ofstratification, he said, is most pernicious. Like any other Central Europeanstates, the Baltic states must be free to associate with any organizationthey choose.

A U.S. participant rejected the notion that certain countries need to betreated uniquely, for every country is "special." However, he noted that theU.S. has not rejected any country that is interested in joining NATO, andthe Baltic states are in that category.


Coping with the New Situation

A Russian asked that the participants pay more attention to practicalissues. We have entered a new period, he said, in which NATO has enlarged.How do we create new military and security relationships? With theRussia-NATO treaty in place, Russia has become reconciled to the newreality. This means a "boring period" in NATO-Russian relations, not markedby ideology but by technical discussions of how to integrate Russia into the"Western" world. The stakes are considerable, for they concern the basicquestion of whether Russia will be Western-oriented. But rather than talkabout cultural issues, the participant suggested discussing specific stepsto advance cooperation in economic, political, and military arenas.

This speaker felt that the task at hand is how to smooth the situation inthe post-enlargement world. He felt the best way would be to create anumbrella trans-Atlantic or European organization for North Americans, WestEuropeans, Central Europeans, East Europeans, and Russians. The newinstitution should take into account "Russian specificity." Such anorganization would provide for a secure northern hemisphere and serve as abasis for a world-wide security network.

Another Russian felt that two things were essential to avoid aggravating thesituation further. 1) The new NATO should do as little as possible in termsof infrastructure on the territory of new member states. 2) The costs ofNATO enlargement to Russia should be minimized by leaving the NATO-Russiaparadigm behind. Instead, the G-7 should include Russia and be transformedinto the G-8. Russian relations with EU should improve, and OSCE should bedeveloped further. Eventually, the goal should be to construct a new systemof security along the lines of NATO-Russia-China-Japan. This participantemphasized that the future shape of NATO and the pace of enlargement mustinclude Russian input.

A Russian expressed concern that, after the first wave, there will beconstant discussions of the second wave. It is unfortunate, he felt, that atendency now exists in Europe to focus on security issues strictly in termsof NATO enlargement. He urged the participants to avoid immediatediscussions of a second wave, for he felt that would continue to irritateRussia's relations with NATO countries and force Russia into a corner. Inany event, he said, NATO enlargement does not mean an end to seekingsolutions to security problems. He suggested that dealing with security at asub-regional level could be useful, especially in relation to the Balticstates. In order to de-emphasize the impact of NATO enlargement and to givediscussions of a second wave of enlargement less prominence, he suggestedthat the OSCE--the only security body where Russia is represented- be givengreater weight. More economic interaction with the developed countries ofthe West would be useful, as the Russian economy is still in decline. Globalstability is crucial, he noted, and a "strategic bridge" between Moscow andBrussels is an essential element of such stability.

The other participants largely agreed that the primary policy issue at thepresent time is how to reduce tension between an enlarged NATO and Russia.Both a U.S. and a West European discussant observed that there is noperception of a military threat from Russia toward an enlarged NATO. In anyevent, any specific military problems connected to NATO enlargement could behandled through CFE, START, and a host of other arms control measures, theU.S. participant pointed out. The West European added that more imaginationwith the CFE on both sides and ratification of START on the Russian sidewould be useful.

This West European said that the problem on the Russian side is primarilypsychological, as the Russians feel excluded. Whereas Central Europeans areseen as "Europeans" and are being invited into European institutions, Russiais not a candidate for either the EU or NATO. But is there any Russianinterest in joining NATO? If Russia fulfills the criteria for membership, asoutlined in the NATO enlargement study, then Russia would be eligible. Thisis a serious question, in view of the changed character of the alliance andongoing Russian cooperation (as in IFOR/SFOR). The possibility of Russianmembership, besides ensuring that Russia could be a player in Europe, wouldbreak the vicious cycle of NATO-Russia tensions. Even if Russia did not wantto join, the mere fact of having the chance would be important. Both sidesshould make the most of the NATO-Russia charter, making it legally binding.This participant felt that NATO and Russia should engage in much moreintensive cooperation "on the ground." He said the IFOR/SFOR exampleprovided a good foundation for building on which further cooperation.Russian military presence at Mons could be expanded, and cooperation inarmament technology could be developed, including the sharing of technologyin certain areas, such as theater ballistic missile defense.


NATO-Russia Council

Several Russians emphasized the important role that the newly establishedNATO-Russia Council could play in alleviating tensions and involving Russiain European security. One Russian remarked that the Council should have arole in consultations in all vital areas of security. Any security issue,whether European or global in scope, should be discussed in the Council.Another Russian urged that any positive achievements of the NATO-RussiaCouncil be publicized widely on the Russian side. He said that the Councilmight provide better ways out of the current uneasy state of relations,replacing the pointless discussion of Russian membership in NATO, which willnot happen.

A U.S. participant observed that the Russia-NATO Founding Act and theresulting cooperation with Russia could become the vehicle to integrateRussia into cooperative action in dealing with such issues as unrest in theBalkans. But another U.S. participant remarked that cooperation in theCouncil will require good will from both sides to make it work. There isgoodwill on the U.S. side, which wishes to see the body emerge as a usefuland meaningful forum, he said, but is there such goodwill on the Russianside? Citing the example of the Partnership for Peace (PfP), he noted thatwhen it was first proposed, PfP was a genuine attempt to engage Russia withthe U.S. and NATO in a military and security sense. But Russian interest inPfP disappeared quickly. Will the same happen to the Council?

A Russian affirmed that willingness to make the Council work does exist onthe Russian side, and that Russia is prepared to give the body realsubstance. It is crucial, he said, that the Founding Act and establishmentof the Council lead quickly to mutual trust. Otherwise, Russian oppositionto NATO enlargement will intensify, and the ratification process after theMadrid summit could be very touchy. The U.S. side should understand thedifficult Russian position and take the lead in making the body meaningful.The participant noted that integration of Russia into internationalinstitutions is beneficial for all. The Council of Europe decided to admitRussia to help the democratic forces in Russia and to assist in improvinghuman rights standards there. There is nothing like it yet in the field ofsecurity. But the example of integration and cooperation should be followed.

A Central European expressed concern about the use of the Council by Russiaand wondered whether it would be used by Russia to fight NATO enlargement.If so, he said, the Council would not have positive consequences forEuropean security. The Council should concentrate on a mix of activitiesdesigned to bring a Russian voice into European security issues in aconstructive manner.


Russian Sensitivities

Several Russians urged that NATO pay more attention to the impact itsactions and statements have in Russia. One Russian recommended that NATO useprudence in integrating the new members and warned against arousing anysuspicions in Russia that NATO is "moving east" against it. He gave twospecific examples of recent NATO military moves which were not well thoughtout in terms of their impact on Russia: PfP maneuvers in Lithuania,simulating irregular warfare in urban terrain, and a PfP exercise inUkraine's Crimean peninsula, simulating action against a separatist revolt.While the scenarios that were offensive to the Russians were later changed,the initial lack of foresight still had a negative impact. The discussantput it bluntly: Russia feels humiliated at this time and needs more help. AU.S. participant agreed that those exercises had been a mistake.

The Russian also expressed unhappiness with President Clinton's recentremarks that "Russia has nothing to fear from NATO enlargement as long as itremains a democracy." He felt that the comment was threatening and thatothers had no right to rate Russia and its level of democracy. AnotherRussian put the issue even more bluntly, remarking with some anger thatothers should not assume an attitude of considering themselves moredemocratic and civilized than Russians when assessing the situation inRussia. Different national experiences matter, and sometimes differentopinions stem merely from different backgrounds.

A major difference between Russia today and 10 years ago is its openness tothe West, noted one Russian. Every year 10 million Russians cross thewestern Russian border and travel abroad, so there is a good deal ofawareness in Russia about the world. He hoped for recognition that Russiahas changed, resulting in a more prudent attitude toward Russia, rather thanarrogance and superiority.

Two Russians aimed their remarks specifically at the U.S. One noted that theU.S. still does not treat Russia as a democracy. The Jackson-Vanik amendmentremains in force, even though there is no longer any question about Russiancitizens' rights of free exit. Another Russian expressed concern thatgrowing U.S. involvement in Transcaucasus will lead to U.S.-Russiantensions.


Compensation?

Few issues provoked more heated debate than the allusion by several Russiansto the idea that Russia should be "compensated" for going along with NATOenlargement. The only actual use of the term "compensation" by a Russian wasin a humorous reply to a Central European who asked what it would take tocompensate Russia for a second wave of NATO enlargement. The Russian repliedthat the question reminded him of an allegory about a man wronglydecapitated being asked what kind of compensation he wanted. But CentralEuropean, West European, and U.S. participants had strong words about anyallusion to "compensation" for Russia.

A Central European observed that his country had not been compensated foranything since 1938, despite several invasions and lengthy occupation andsubjugation by foreign powers. He suggested that we need to learn somelessons from Cold War thinking, and that negotiation and bargaining ratherthan "compensation" are the order of the day.

A U.S. participant felt that, since the NATO enlargement process has beengoing on honestly and transparently for some time, no apologies to Russiaare necessary.

Russia is already obtaining many things that it wants, such as enlargementof G-7 to G-8 and increased ties with the EU, observed a Westernparticipant. Bluntly, this participant commented that Russia does not evendeserve what it is getting. For example, Russia is going to be a member ofG-8, but the sad shape of its economy does not warrant such a position.Similarly, assistance from the EU to Russia has been massive and is set tocontinue. Harking back to the experience of the United Kingdom, which alsowent from an empire to a middle-rank power, he advised the Russians: "Workon your democracy, and get your economy straight."


The Role of the EU

The role of the European Union, the other major international institution inEurope, was a topic that came up throughout the discussions. Many CentralEuropean and some U.S. participants criticised the institution and itsallegedly weak role in the integration process.

An often-heard line of reasoning is that NATO enlargement amounts to theU.S. making up for the failure of the West Europeans and the EU to deal withpost-Cold War Europe, said one U.S. participant. But NATO enlargement haslet the EU off the hook by allowing the EU to evade the issue further. Itseems odd that a military alliance, led by a country from another continent,is serving as a vehicle for European integration. What does this say aboutthe EU? And what about the South Balkans and the countries not in the firstround of NATO enlargement? The EU is especially guilty of ignoring thosecountries and their problems. Another U.S. speaker posed a question to theparticipants about the fact that NATO enlargement is proceeding before theEU's: Is security what the Central and East Europeans need most, or is iteconomics?

Many Central Europeans addressed these questions. The majority recognizedthe mutually reinforcing role of NATO and the EU, but also expressedgratitude to NATO for taking the lead with enlargement. One Central Europeanremarked that enlargement of both NATO and the EU are parts of the sameprocess. Another Central European said that each institution--EU andNATO--adds something, but both are important. Another Central Europeandescribed his country as having a full-level integration strategy andpointed out that the current focus on NATO is due to the fact that it is nowopen to new members, while the EU is not.

NATO membership has become the leading aspiration of the Central Europeansbecause the organization has a record of being effective, observed oneCentral European. In addition, few in his country believe that it will beable to fulfill EU membership criteria any time soon, but NATO membershipseems within their grasp. Finally, he recognized the importance of the U.S.role in NATO and the need for a U.S. presence in Europe. In a blunt comment,another Central European said, Europe is not mature enough yet without theU.S. and NATO provides a vehicle for a U.S. role on the continent. Withoutthe U.S. the German problem would be bigger, and the old danger of playingthe "changing alliances" game would be reactivated.

A number of Central Europeans remarked that the EU was slow to reform andcould not adjust easily to the new post-Cold War situation and the need forreintegration in Europe. Several said there was a lack of vision and will inthe EU about what to do about the rapidly changing situation in Europe.

But a number of commentators also pointed out that the security-economicsdichotomy in the NATO-EU question amounted to a false choice. The EU hassecurity aspects to it, and NATO certainly has an economic side to it, too.One Central European remarked that the EU was set up in the 1950s withsecurity considerations in mind. It has come to be identified withprosperity and economic interaction, but it has always been much more thanthat. The integration that the EU has led to, he said, makes it a "peacecommunity." A West European suggested that in the future the EU may becomejust as important in the security realm as NATO.

The West European also countered some of the negative comments regarding theEU and remarked that it is going to enlarge and it will include countriesthat will not become NATO members in the near future. Through its CFSP(Common Foreign and Security Policy), the EU is especially well suited totackle problems of European security. Indeed, CFSP may be a better home forRussia than NATO, especially regarding the Balkans and countries such asBelarus. CFSP is still evolving, but it needs a preventive diplomacyfunction. We are still in the uneven process of the building of newinstitutional arrangements to deal with the post-Cold War problems, he said.There are many institutions in place, and there is no lack either ofinterest or mechanisms.


Relations Between Russia and Central Europe after the Madrid Summit

Opinions about the future course of relations between Central Europeancountries and Russia differed. Though ties may increase in some areas,indications are that they may decline.

A Central European pointed out that thinking of countries such as Poland inpolitically-defined terms of "Central and Eastern Europe" will be inaccuratein the post-Madrid era. When it becomes a member of NATO, will a countrysuch as Poland still be grouped under the same rubric as Lithuania? Thelabel will be obsolete, since the countries in the first round ofenlargement will have become a part of the "West." A Russian observed thatdiscussions like the current one are increasingly difficult because of thechanging situation. Rather than being one group of countries, the countriesof Central Europe are already quite different from one another.

Russian policy toward the Central European states that will soon enter NATOwill depend on their behavior toward Russia in the alliance, observed aRussian. Will the new NATO countries adopt anti-Russian positions or willthey act "prudently"? A U.S. discussant responded that it would be foolishfor Poles, Czechs, or others to use NATO in any way against Russia, for theymost of all have a stake in good relations with Russia. Expectations ofanti-Russian behavior by the new members seem unfounded. More combative, oneCentral European questioned whether the Russian meant to allude to apossibility of economic sanctions on the Central European countries whenthey join NATO. He referred to the recent comments of the Russian ambassadorto Prague, who threatened unspecified economic actions by Russia against theCzech Republic when and if that country joined NATO. Another CentralEuropean cautioned the Russian side that language is important in notarousing tensions in Central Europe. Use of the word "corridor" to describea proposed transit route from Belarus to Kaliningrad provokes negativeimages and is not constructive.

A Russian observed that the importance to Russia of what used to be known as"Eastern Europe" will decline. But in the immediate future, after theinitial wave of enlargement, Central Europe will become fragmented intodifferent groups of states, and Russian relations with the Central Europeanswill differ accordingly. Russia will increasingly tend to appeal directly toBrussels rather than to individual Central European countries. A CentralEuropean felt that, on the contrary, the importance of the Central Europeanstates to Russia will increase as a result of their integration into NATO.He believed that NATO membership is likely to facilitate Central Europeancontacts with Russia and put the countries on a more equal footing. Headvised the Russian side that going to Brussels rather than Warsaw to talkabout Russian-Polish relations was not a good idea. The Russian participantremained unconvinced, remarking that some countries in NATO are more equalthan others.

Some participants noted that now an opportunity exists for the establishmentof relations based on mutual respect and recognition of sovereignty amongthe Central European states and Russia. One Central European noted that thisis the first time in many years that Central Europe is not controlled byeither Germany or Russia. When Germany abandoned its ambition of controllingthe region, it paved the way for close and healthy ties between Germany andthe Central European countries. The same could apply to Russia. Abandonmentof Russian ambitions toward the region could lead to new kinds of relationsbetween the Central European states and Russia. The decision by the CentralEuropeans to seek NATO membership is not motivated by the desire to replaceone "big brother" with another. The goal is to play a genuine role inupholding security on the continent that was alluring. Central Europeanaspirations for NATO are not a betrayal of former allies, he added. Thoseaspirations stem from seeing a great chance for everyone in Europe to leavethe old power politics behind and move on to a better stage of relations onthe continent. These ideas were echoed by a number of Central Europeans.

Several issues worth monitoring in the near future in connection with thenew entries into NATO were proposed by one Central European. One is how thenewly "Western" countries will deal with those not in the first round ofenlargement. Another issue is Kaliningrad, which is likely to requireregional cooperation between neighbors that belong to diverse organizations.Still another is the Russian/Belarusian union. Should that entity be treatedas a regional problem or a European problem? Finally, how will Russianattitudes toward the Central European countries change after the Madridsummit? The participant anticipated stages in the Russian attitude: first,viewing each of the new NATO countries as a "treacherous bride" who wantsanother groom; then she will ignore him; and finally, resentfully acceptthat they have escaped from the Russian paw. What will be the next stage?Will Russia see Central Europe as little more than a playground in thestrategic balance between NATO and Russia? Will Russia refrain fromexploiting the differences among the countries in the region, especiallythose that are in the first round and those that are not?

Elaborating on the "treacherous bride" analogy, a Russian described NATOenlargement and Russian attitudes toward the Central European states as"post-divorce syndrome." Another Russian gave the divorce analogy a slightlydifferent twist: after the initial resentment stage, he said, sometimes onereally begins to appreciate one's ex-spouse, and he said the same may yethappen in Central European views toward Russia. Continuing, the Russiandescribed two kinds of former "wives": the Central European countries andthe former Soviet republics. The two areas had faced different situations.But he reminded the other participants that in both cases it was the SovietUnion, not Russia, that made the decision to withdraw from those areas.Assuming Russian ambitions to "regain" these areas misses that fundamentalpoint.


Growing Distance?

Some new problems are developing in Central European relations with Russiaand other CIS countries as a result of EU enlargement, some CentralEuropeans observed. Greater distance between the Central European countriesand Russia is likely to come about not as a result of NATO enlargement butof EU enlargement. Some Central Europeans felt there was insufficientunderstanding of this issue in Russia.

One Central European pointed out that the Schengen Treaty, which waived allvisa requirements within the EU and is a reality, is restrictive to freemovement. Visa restrictions may create a wall on Poland's eastern border.The Polish government wants to have an open border with the CIS states, butthe EU does not, and it has asked the Polish government to "control" itseastern border. That would greatly diminish Polish contacts with Russia andother CIS states. The participant noted an urgent need for Polish-Russiandiscussions on this issue. The economic sphere is the primary area forcooperation between Central Europe and Russia, and Central Europeans supportRussian (and Ukrainian) integration into bodies such as the World TradeOrganization.

Another Central European mentioned that, if the experience of recententrants such as Sweden, Finland and Austria into the EU has been anyindication, trade between Russia and the Central European countries enteringthe EU will decline. The net effect of the trend would be to further reduceCentral European-Russian contacts.

A Russian observed that the Central Europeans and Russians are talking pasteach other, seemingly not really interested in understanding each other,especially when it comes to security questions. Perhaps a respite incontacts is what is needed. This would allow market-based trade and mutuallybeneficial contacts to develop, thus laying the groundwork for closer tiesin the future. A Central European challenged these remarks. He felt thatCentral Europeans have lost political interest in Russia, though theireconomic interest remains; but he felt that Russia has not lost its interestin the region. A Russian expressed the opinion that mistakes have been madein Russian foreign policy, that Moscow forgot about Central and EasternEurope. He felt that the Kremlin is more concerned with Brussels andWashington than with Prague and Budapest. Foreign Minister Primakov and theDuma have tried to draw attention to this issue in Russian foreign policybut have made no progress.


Russian Relations with the Baltic States

Tensions remain in relations between Russia and the Baltic states, andneither the impending NATO enlargement nor the possibility of EU membershipfor the Baltic states has had much of an impact on the bilateral ties. Asharp exchange between a Central European and several Russians concerned theRussian minority in Estonia and the controversy about the citizenshipproblems of Russians living in Estonia.

The basic way to acquire citizenship in Estonia is by birth to Estoniancitizens, noted the Central European. Otherwise, residency and a languagetest are required for Estonian citizenship. Contrary to some reports, 90 percent of those taking the Estonian language exam pass, and the Estoniangovernment has allotted substantial funds to Estonian language education.Some 36 per cent of the people residing in Estonia are not ethnic Estonians;of these, ethnic Russians constitute by far the largest group, about 29 percent of the total population. But 90,000 ethnic Russians have receivedcitizenship since Estonian independence in 1991. No constraints exist onobtaining Estonian citizenship, since it is an open process, said theCentral European. He rejected any suggestion that the cultural rights ofethnic Russians are being violated.

Unconvinced, one Russian discussant commented that in both Estonia andLatvia many young Russians who are qualified for citizenship do not applybecause they do not wish to be humiliated by state officials. The Russianfelt that recommendations issued by Max van der Stoel (the High Commissionerfor National Minorities of the OSCE) and his Office have not beenimplemented in the two countries. Finally, the problem of militarypensioners in the two Baltic states remains unsolved.

Another Russian commented that at least some progress on the minority issueis being made in Estonia. But Latvia remains problematic (and Lithuania isnot a significant issue as far as the Russian minority is concerned). Thereal problem, according to the Russian, was the impact of legislation duringthe first few years of independence of Estonia and Latvia, when ethnicRussians were not allowed to have a say in the legislatures of thesecountries.

This Russian's remarks led another Central European participant to cautionthe Russian side not to attempt to use the Russian minority in Lithuania asa tool of Russian state policy. He felt such a policy would not bebeneficial either to Russia or to the Russian minority.

A West European suggested that a role by the EU might be useful inameliorating the tensions between Russia and Latvia and Estonia. Perhapsdouble citizenship might be a solution? He wondered whether theHungarian-Romanian treaty could serve as a model for settling the disputesbetween Russia and some of the Baltic states, but his comments failed toelicit much interest on either the Central European or Russian side.


Why Must a U.S. NGO Be Involved?

There is very little contact between Central Europeans and Russians, pointedout a U.S. participant, noting that it took a U.S.-based nongovernmentalorganization to sponsor the meeting and to bring the Central Europeans andRussians together. He asked why it is so difficult to have such a dialoguewithout external sponsorship.

A Russian put some of the blame for such limited bilateral contacts on theCentral Europeans. He felt that most people in the Central Europeancountries see Russia as an imperial power. Forced into, and now releasedfrom, the Warsaw Pact, the Central Europeans have a psychological blockagainst dealing with Russia. And whereas Western policy gave incentives tothe Central Europeans to talk to NATO, no motivation exists for CentralEuropeans to talk to one another or to the Russians.

Such comments were contested in lengthy and sometimes bitter comments byseveral Central Europeans. One noted that two official bilateralPolish-Russian meetings have been held so far, one in Warsaw and one inMoscow, but he felt that the composition of the Russian side was inadequate.Another Central European added that, in addition to the two officialmeetings, there have been many recent Polish-Russian NGO-sponsored bilateralmeetings, but those meetings only indicate that Russia did not begin totreat Poland seriously until it dawned on them that Poland would soon be inNATO. For several years, there was no response from Moscow to the numerousinvitations from the Polish side for discussions.

The Central European commented that bilateral contacts between Russians andCentral Europeans do go on, but they depend almost entirely on Russianwillingness to cooperate. The speaker recounted the words of a Russianrepresentative at a bilateral Polish-Russian meeting in 1996: "We decided tocome to Warsaw this time, even though we know you need to convince NATO thatyou are talking to us." This Russian attitude, refusing to treat discussionswith Central Europeans as beneficial and useful in their own right butrather as a sideshow in their relations with the U.S. and West Europeans, isan obstacle to improved contacts, said the Central European. He noted thatthe good relations his country has been able to achieve with Germany in thepost-Cold War period have been the result of greater confidence in hiscountry and of being treated as a real partner by Germany. He thought thatthe same might be possible vis--vis Russia if the Russian attitude changes.

Another Central European felt that Russia does not consider any CentralEuropean country other than Poland to have any importance. Russianrepresentatives were reluctant to come to his country for consultations, hesaid, and when they did come, they refused to engage in any meaningfuldialogue, exhibiting only an attitude of "This is our position: take it orleave it."

Still another Central European put the blame for lack of contacts betweenhis country and Russia squarely on the Russian side. He said that despitenumerous invitations to Russia since 1996 to hold bilateral discussions,they never even responded until two weeks ago.

One Central European observed that limited contacts are a problem not onlyin relations between Central European countries and Russia, but also amongCentral European countries themselves. He noted that several NGO- sponsoredtrilateral Polish-Ukrainian-Belarusian roundtables have taken place, thoughan attempt to hold one this year failed. And there is virtually noPolish-Slovak contact, even at the NGO level. Only Czech-Polish contactshave been frequent.

The U.S. side has qualms about assuming responsibility for continuing theCentral European-Russian dialogue, said a U.S. participant. He suggestedthat the Russians take a more active role and engage in more frequentbilateral consultations with the Central Europeans. Perhaps short (evenone-page) summaries of the meetings, distributed to participants from othercountries, might be beneficial. A joint PER-sponsored annual meeting mightthen simply be a catalyst to further discussions on themes that might havealready come up.


Conclusions and Next Steps

The meeting showed the different perceptions of the process of NATOenlargement on the part of the Central Europeans, West Europeans, andAmericans on the one side and the Russians on the other. But it was alsoevident that the Russians saw NATO enlargement as inevitable and that theytherefore needed to make the best of it. NATO enlargement does not mean theend of security negotiations on the continent, nor does it necessarily leadto exclusion and isolation of Russia. The steps taken after Madrid willdetermine what will happen.

The Central Europeans seemed more confident about their own security as aresult of NATO enlargement. While dismissing some of the Russian concernsabout the effects of the process, they hoped for improved relations withRussia in the future. Indeed, many Central Europeans saw NATO enlargement asa basis on which more "normal" relations with Russia can be established.


List of Participants

Czech Republic

Ivan Gabal,  former Head, Department of Political Analysis, Office of thePresident

Karel Stindl,  Ambassador to Poland

Estonia

Peeter Restsinski,  Ambassador to Poland

uropean Union

Thomas Grunert, Senior Official, European Parliament

Hungary

Istvan Szent-Ivanyi,  Leader of Parliamentary Caucus, Alliance of FreeDemocrats

Latvia

Uvis Blums,  Second Secretary, Embassy in Poland

Lithuania

Kestutis Jankauskas,  Deputy Head, Multilateral Relations Division, Ministryof Foreign Affairs

NATO

Andrew Dolan,  National Expert, NATO and the European Commission

Poland

Bronislaw Geremek,  Member of Parliament; Member, PER Council for EthnicAccord

Janusz Onyszkiewicz,  Member of Parliament, former Defense Minister;Chairman, Euro-Atlantic Council

Janusz Reiter,  former Ambassador to Germany; Chairman, Center onInternational Affairs

Piotr Switalski,  former Senior Diplomatic Advisor to the OSCE SecretaryGeneral and Director of the OSCE Department for Chairman-in Office Support,Department of the System of the United Nations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Henryk Szlajfer,  Director, Department of Studies and Analysis, Ministry ofForeign Affairs

Romania

Constantin Dudu Ionescu,  Secretary of State and Chief of Defense Policy andInternational Relations, Ministry of Defense

Dorin Marian,  Counselor for National Security, Office of the Presidency

Russia

Vladimir Averchev,  Member, State Duma

Boris Makarenko,  Deputy Director, Center for Political Technologies;Consultant, Project on Ethnic Relations

Alexei Salmin,  Member, Presidential Advisory Council; President, RussianPublic Policy Center

Mark Urnov,  Presidential Advisor

Slovakia

Juraj Migas,  Director General, Political Section, Ministry of ForeignAffairs

Miroslav Wlachovsky,  Director, Research Center, Slovak Foreign PolicyAssociation

Slovenia

Anton Bebler,  Ambassador to the UN Offices in Geneva

Ukraine

Yevhen Marchuk,  Member of Parliament, former Prime Minister

USA

Marshall Adair,  Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European andCanadian Affairs, Department of State

Stephen Mull,  Political Officer, US Embassy in Poland

Cameron Munter,  Chief of Staff, NATO Enlargement Ratification Office,Department of State

Thomas Szayna,  Analyst, International Studies Group, RAND

PER

Allen Kassof,  President

Livia Plaks,  Executive Director

Aleksey Grigor'ev,  Program Officer

Observer

Aleksandra Jasinska,  Professor, Sociology Institute, Warsaw University

Andrzej Mirga,  Chairman, PER Romani Advisory Council