An international conference entitled Development of the North-West Federal District in Russia as a region of security and cooperation ended in Pskov at the weekend. As a Rosbalt correspondent reports, participants discussed a number of issues including NATO expansion towards Russia, the political implications of Baltic countries joining NATO and the EU and the problems facing the Pskov and Kaliningrad Regions as Europe changes both politically and economically.
The North-West Federal District, it was said, is one of the most politically stable regions in Europe and the entry of Baltic countries into NATO is not expected to cause difficulties within the region. Representatives of Estonia and Latvia called for greater economic integration with the Pskov Region, which borders both countries, and Russia as a whole. 'We would like to cooperate with Russia in different regions,' a spokesman for the Latvian Interior Ministry emphasised. 'We believe Latvia's entry into NATO and the EU will actually help us to resolve certain bilateral issues.'
The conference featured representatives of political and social organisations as well as local politicians and experts and diplomats from Baltic countries, the North-West Federal District and Moscow.
After WWII, the Soviet army left Austria, and the latter had always remained a neutral state and never joined NATO
Russia experienced default on August 17, 1998. Today, 20 years after those events, the economic situation in Russia does not seem stable to many