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Russa/US: Charges Of Summit Sell-Out Of Eastern Europe 'Silly'

Washington, 19 March 1997 (RFE/RL) - U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns yesterday described as "ridiculous and silly" charges that this week's U.S.-Russian summit would sell out the security interests of Central and East European nations.

Burns told reporters that there would be no sell-out and no concessions made because the security of countries in the region are fundamentally important to the United States.

Secretary of State Madeleine Albright raised the issue earlier in the day at a White House press briefing, saying neither she nor the U.S. president would bargain away the rights of Central Europeans in talking with Russia about a charter with NATO.

Burns said there had been allegations of a sell-out by some unidentified former U.S. government officials and commentators.

He said everyone is working to build a Europe that is truly different from the cold war and that the sensitivities, sensibilities and geo-strategic position of Central European countries had to be taken into account.