ACCESSION NUMBER:377968 FILE ID:EUR110 DATE:02/06/95 TITLE:BRZEZINSKI: POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD A LARGER EUROPE (02/06/95) TEXT:*95020604.GWE *EUR110 02/06/95 BRZEZINSKI: POSITIVE OPPORTUNITY TO BUILD A LARGER EUROPE (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 services. 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 romanticism. NNNN .