Spy Leaves France in the Cold

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PARIS: France says its latest spy scandal won't affect relations with NATO, but don't bet on that. Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine insisted Wednesday that the actions of Pierre Bunel, a senior French officer arrested for passing NATO secrets to the Serbs, are "in no way linked to our policies." That's a relief, since Bunel is suspected of informing the Serbs of NATO's planned targets in Kosovo -- which would have put NATO pilots (including Frenchmen) at risk.

Bunel is the second French officer exposed for passing secrets to the Serbs -- in April Major Herve Gourmelon was found to have tipped off Bosnian Serbs about planned NATO action. "The Pentagon has had a really jaundiced view of the French for a long time," says TIME Paris bureau chief Tom Sancton. The U.S. has in the past flatly rejected French demands for control of NATO's Southern Command, which has put the process of France's integration into NATO on hold. "Now," says Sanction, "that process will go into the deep freeze."