Date: Wed, 28 May 1997 14:34:00 -0700 (PDT) From: Lester <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: More news from Paris
Paris. April 28, 1997.
President Clinton and President Boris Yeltsin moved to put a definitive end to the Cold War today by signing an agreement which allows NATO to expand on Russia's borders.
In gratitude for this good will gesture, President Yeltsin revived his three-year old pledge to immediately disable missiles targeted at the West. This announcement briefly alarmed GE executives in the audience, before they were assured that it was not a new disarmament proposal, and, in any event, there would be no need to reciprocate.
The centerpiece of the accord is the creation of a Russia-NATO permanent joint council in Brussels as "the principal venue of consultation between Russia and NATO on the question of how best to revive the cordon sanitaire and once again encircle Russia."
The allies, for their part, made some important concessions to the Russians, affirming that they would not put nuclear weapons on the soil of the new Central European countries that joined NATO, unless they changed their mind.
After the gathering, a relaxed Boris Yeltsin quipped that having Western troops nearby might help, should "those dunghill lawmakers of the Duma" fail to verify the accord, and should Russian troops balk at consequent orders to shell parliament.
Conference host President Chirac, confronted with dire news from his own electorate, hailed the NATO-Russian agreement as "the great hope for the peoples of the world," causing one observer to ask "Is France even in NATO?"
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