James G. Neuger
January 18, 2010

Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) — NATO is likely to rebuff a Russian proposal for a bilateral security treaty, seeing it as a ploy to regain lost influence over eastern Europe, four allied officials said.

Russia’s proposed treaty, limited to the trans-Atlantic alliance’s 28 members, would require them to “perform defense planning in a way that it does not threaten the security of other parties,” according to a three-page draft obtained by Bloomberg News.

[efoods]The initiative marks a Russian bid to assert its primacy over countries that were once part of the Soviet Union and to halt the Brussels-based North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s expansion. The proposal, made last month, would have effectively given Russia a veto over allied military planning, especially in eastern Europe, said the officials, who declined to be named because the alliance hasn’t issued a formal response.

“It’s a way of trying to put into treaty an acceptance of a Russian sphere of influence,” said Kurt Volker, a former U.S. ambassador to NATO who is now managing director of Johns Hopkins University’s trans-Atlantic relations center in Washington. “It essentially gives Russia a veto over countries that are not yet members of NATO.”


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