*EUR110   02/06/95


(Favors "collaborative" U.S.-Russian relationship) (660)

By David Pitts

USIA Staff Writer

Washington -- Zbigniew Brzezinski, former Carter administration national

security advisor, February 6 strongly endorsed "a collaborative

relationship" between the United States and Russia.

Speaking at the School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of Johns

Hopkins University, Brzezinski said the United States "should help Russia."

 But he said there should be "no illusions" about the pace at which

democracy can be built in Russia, nor should there be any illusions "about

its still very tenuous condition."  That is why assistance from the West is

important, he added.

Brzezinski also said that there is "a positive opportunity" to build a

larger, democratic Europe that "anchors Germany," as well as offering a

place for Russia.  "That opportunity should be seized," he stressed.

As far as expanding NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) and the

European Union (EU) are concerned, Brzezinski placed himself squarely

alongside the Clinton administration and others who support such an effort.

 He said NATO and EU expansion "should not be driven by hostility to

Russia."  But neither "should expansion be conditioned on Russia's

approval," he noted.

As Russia tries to consolidate its nascent democracy, "some immediate links

to the process" of NATO expansion might be considered, Brzezinski said, in

addition to participation in the Partnership for Peace.  He did not provide

1etails.  The EU also might reach out by strengthening transportation and

communication links, he suggested.

Although Brzezinski said he supports assistance to Russia, he called for a

greater sense of history and historical perspective on the part of analysts

and others who observe Russia.  He warned that Russia will not become a

full democracy quickly "or without some painful reverses."  He added: "Let

not our illusions blur our strategic vision."

Currently in Russia he said there are hopeful signs and signs that are not

so hopeful.  On the positive side, he mentioned the vitality of a free

press.  On the negative side, he cited the still "obvious weakness" of the

judiciary, some rule by decree, and the role of the army and intelligence


Of particular importance at the present time is the debate going on in

Russia about whether the country is a European state or a Eurasian state,

Brzezinski said.  If Russia decides it is a European country and continues

along the path to democracy, "then clearly its long-range destiny remains

in Europe," he added.

But if Russia decides it is a Eurasian state, "then its relation to Europe

is more ambiguous," Brzezinski said.

Can Russia "transform itself into a modern, post-imperialism state?"  That

is one of the big questions being hotly debated in Russia as well as

elsewhere, Brzezinski noted.  President Yeltsin has been in the corner of

those favoring a non-imperialist, national state as evidenced by his

commitment to independence for the Baltic countries, Brzezinksi continued.

But the former security official stressed that there are many with a

different view and the intervention in Chechnya, although clearly a part of

Russia, "raises some worrisome concerns," because of the nature of the

intervention, he said.

Noting that this weekend will be the 50th anniversary of the Yalta

conference, Brzezinski offered some interesting parallels and contrasts to

mark the occasion.

"Fifty years ago, Germany lay prostrate; today, Germany is the most powerful

European nation," he said.  The situation is reversed now -- with Russia,

and the Soviet Union is no more, he added.

However, the same questions remain as did 50 years ago, Brzezinski remarked.

 "What is Germany's role in the new Europe?  What should Russia's relation

to Europe be?  What should the U.S. role in Europe be?"  These are "the

very same questions as in 1945," he said.

In pondering the answers to these recurring questions, Brzezinski called, as

he has so often in the past, for analysis free of illusions and