The NATO Issue
The draft concept did not present NATO involvement in Central Europe as inherently threatening to Russian interests. Later in 1993, however, Yeltsin reversed course under the political exigency of his upcoming confrontation with the State Duma. The new position was that former members of the Warsaw Pact could join NATO only if Russia also were included. This opposition then spurred the United States proposal of the Partnership for Peace.
The military doctrine that Yeltsin decreed in November 1993 was not directed clearly at NATO. Calling for a neutral Central Europe, the doctrine warned that Russia would interpret as a threat the expansion of any alliance in Europe to the detriment of Russia's interests or the introduction of foreign troops in states adjacent to the Russian Federation. Throughout 1995 and the first half of 1996, Russian military officials continued to demand that the Central European states remain neutral. During the Moscow visit of Poland's president Alexander Kwasniewski in April 1996, Yeltsin hailed warmer ties, but he noted that the NATO issue remained the single obstacle over which the two sides disagreed.