Testy Diplomacy

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MOSCOW: Madeleine Albright emerged from a 2 1/2 hour meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov little closer to securing Russian approval of NATO expansion. "It's safe to say there was no breakthrough today," reports TIME Moscow bureau chief Paul Quinn-Judge. "All Primakov could muster in the way of positive developments was that the two of them agreed to disagree on whether NATO was a threat." The two sides are still at odds over military arrangements once NATO adds Poland, the Czech Republic and Hungary this summer. While the West has given assurances that only a small number of troops and no nuclear weapons will be deployed in the new member states, Russia is holding out for fewer troops and a military voice in the alliance.