THESE THESES ON HOW RUSSIA SHOULD deal with NATO's possible expansion were prepared by a working group of the Council on Foreign and Defense Policy, a nonpartisan Russian organization that includes legislators from many political parties, officials of the executive branch, business people, journalists, and scholars. The council aims to foster public discussion on important issues in Russian foreign and defense policy. One of the leading figures in the council is Sergei Karaganov, who coordinated this report. He is the deputy director of the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences and a member of the Presidential Council.
Nezavisimaya gazeta published this document on 21 June, under the signatures of a wide range of Russia's political, economic, and intellectual elite. Among those who signed were members of the Yeltsin administration, several deputies from both houses of the Federal Assembly, and a number of industrialists, bankers, journalists, and scholars. While not every person who signed the document would agree with all of its details - the government officials who signed it did so only in a personal capacity - the document nonetheless accurately conveys the current consensus among liberal and centrist elements in Moscow on the issue. It is especially notable because it shows that even liberal and moderate Russian elites - who typically feel that Russia's future depends in part on close links with the West - are opposed to NATO expansion.