Russian Analysts See with Albright Tough Days Ahead: Press Paints Her as Cold Warrior
Sieff, Martin, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)
Madeleine K. Albright is heading for a hot reception in Moscow over NATO next week on her first visit as secretary of state during a round-the-world trip.
The Czech-born Mrs. Albright is a passionate advocate of expanding the NATO alliance into Central Europe to include Poland, Hungary and her homeland. She hopes to convince Russia to drop its fierce resistance to the policy.
But that looks increasingly unlikely. Since Mrs. Albright was nominated, Moscow's press has painted her as a hard-line Cold Warrior determined to keep Russia divided and weak.
And yesterday, Russian officials demanded the right of veto on major European security issues and said Moscow should be ready to use nuclear weapons if attacked.
The influential Nezavisimaya Gazeta (Independent Newspaper) warned on Jan. 15 that Mrs. Albright's appointment would replace the Russian-American cooperation that has been the jewel in the crown of President Clinton's foreign policy with a "cold peace" reviving old U.S.-Soviet tensions.
"This will bring about a situation where the leading foreign policy posts in America and Russia will be filled by proponents of a tough line in diplomacy," the paper said.
Nezavisimaya Gazeta predicted confrontations and clashes between the fiercely anti-communist Mrs. Albright and her Russian opposite number, Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, a leading architect of Moscow's Middle East policies in the 1960s and 1970s.
"One may predict, therefore, that their contacts will be of an uncompromising and far from friendly nature, which undoubtedly will affect relations between Russia and the United States," the paper said.
"The two countries are again facing the danger of a plunge in their bilateral relations," it added.
President Boris Yeltsin's press secretary yesterday cautioned the North Atlantic Treaty Organization against offering membership to the three Baltic states on Russia's northwestern border.
Dmitry Ryurikov, Mr. Yeltsin's top foreign policy adviser, denounced NATO's refusal to grant Russia the right to a veto on some security issues as "strange, unjust and wrong. …