NATO officials are expected today to call on Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov to explain reports of recent Russian threats to change its nuclear weapons strategy, according to the Associated Press (see GSN, Oct. 6).
Last week, the Russian Defense Ministry released a document complaining that NATO had failed to remove “anti-Russian components” from its military plans, AP reported. The document was released prior to a meeting in Moscow that involved Ivanov, Russian President Vladimir Putin and senior Russian military officials.
“If NATO is preserved as a military alliance with its existing offensive military doctrine, this will demand a radical reconstruction of Russian military planning ... including changes in Russian nuclear strategy,” the document said.
NATO defense ministers yesterday began a two-day meeting in Colorado Springs, Colo., and they are expected today to question Ivanov over the Defense Ministry document and the Moscow meeting.
“I’ve no doubt that minister Sergei Ivanov will want to expand on the fairly sketchy details that came out of that meeting,” NATO Secretary General George Robertson said yesterday.
Robertson also said that Ivanov had been “at pains to say that some of the reports bore no relation to what the reality was”(Associated Press/New York Times, Oct. 9).