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Russia: Kremlin Still Opposes NATO Eastward Expansion

Moscow, 14 August 1996 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin's new press secretary, Sergei Yastrzhembsky, today denied that Moscow has lifted its long-standing opposition to NATO's planned eastward expansion. Yastrzhembsky said a Baltic News Service report that Yeltsin had sent a letter to U.S. President Bill Clinton saying Russia was no longer opposed to Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic joining NATO was "false information."

Yeltsin did send a letter to Clinton at the end of last month, but Yastrzhembsky said it confirmed Moscow's continued opposition to NATO's planned expansion, especially in regard to the Baltic states.

Meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Igor Rodionov is quoted in an interview published today in the Moscow News as saying Russian would take "adequate measures" if NATO goes forward with its expansion plans.