Despite recent U.S. coyness on Russia's desired entry into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Germany's Defense Minister made his country's position clear today, possibly setting up a rift with the Clinton Administration's Partnership for Peace Program. "If Russia were to become a member of NATO, that would blow NATO apart," Volker Ruehe told a conference of German and American business leaders. Why the snub? Ruehe claimed it would be too difficult to integrate the Russians into the Western alliance, in part because they refuse to learn English, the accepted "common" language of NATO. His U.S. counterpart, Defense Secretary William Perry, hedged, saying Russia could get in line behind Poland, Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic -- a 5-year wait at least.