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News Briefs, part 2

Russia Delays NATO Cooperation Because of Bosnia

Los Angeles Times

The escalating warfare between Bosnian Serb forces and U.N. peacekeepers in Bosnia-Herzegovina claimed another casualty Thursday: plans for greater cooperation between Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Russian Foreign Minister Andrei D. Kozyrev announced in Moscow that he has postponed Russia's entry into the "Partnership for Peace," President Clinton's program for increased cooperation between NAO and the formerly communist nations of Eastern Europe.

In Washington, State Department spokesman Michael McCurry said the Clinton administration was "concerned" about the Russian decision and hoped it did not mean a definitive reversal of Russia's decision to join the partnership.

Kozyrev called off a scheduled April 21 visit to Brussels, where he was to enroll Russia in the program, and tied the decision to his government's complaint that it was not fully consulted in advance of NATO airstrikes against Serb positions earlier this week.

A senior U.S. official said it wasn't yet clear whether Russia's decision to stay out of the partnership would last long. "There have been some indications that they would like to trade membership (in the partnership) for closer ties to Western economies but we don't know," he said.

Gore Links Economy And Environment

The Washington Post

In an impassioned appeal to more than 120 nations gathered here to sign a new global trade treaty, Vice President Al Gore declared Thursday that workers' rights and the environment must become new top priorities for an interdependent world economy.

While voicing hopes for a new boom through the lower tariffs secured by seven years of trade negotiations, Gore declared that "economic growth pursued without vision or compassion for the way it may affect working men and women and without regard for environmental consequences contains the seeds of its own destruction."

At the same time, he sought to reassure developing countries that the United States would resist any effort to engage in forms of disguised protectionism that would seek to use stricter pollution controls or improved labor standards to block exports by poor nations.

Gore stressed that a robust world economy and a healthy environment depend on each other and that free trade could serve as an engine of progress in alleviating poverty, which he called "perhaps the greatest cause of environmental degradation in our world."