DEFENSE MINISTER BACKS EUROPEAN FORCE, REGIONAL ABM SYSTEM.
Speaking to the Russia-NATO Joint Permanent Council, Defense
Minister Igor Sergeev said Moscow backs the idea of a unique
European Force independent of NATO as well as what he called a
"European non-strategic ABM system," "Izvestiya" and RIA-
Novosti reported on 6 December. U.S. Defense Secretary William
Cohen responded critically to Sergeev's suggestion that the
European Force should be independent of NATO. Sergeev's other
idea about a European ABM remains far from clear; many
independent Russian military experts view it as "utopian" (see
"RFE/RL Security Watch," 24 and 31 July 2000).
Copyright (c) 2000. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free
Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave., N.W. Washington DC 20036.