The ISCIP Analyst
Behind the Breaking News
Volume II Number 14 (August 6, 1997)
Savostyanov also outlined in general terms the vetting process for state cadres, noting that his department does not participate in "appointments of the highest circle." Individual applications come into the Kremlin from the localities or departments, at which time they are researched through newspaper accounts and a special services' review. Before being interviewed personally through Savostyanov's office, a thorough "paper portrait" is prepared. Savostyanov's current goals for staffing include not only filling immediate openings throughout the executive branch, but also creating a "reserve bench" of qualified candidates from which the president could choose when the need arose. Savostyanov also noted that at present the president had responsibility for the selection of candidates to over 30,000 posts.
New decree suggests flexible view of powers
The representatives are given oversight of local implementation of presidential and governmental decrees, federal laws and the disbursement of budgetary funds. In the past, the Control Department has had primary responsibility for supervision of presidential representatives, and while that connection is still present (representatives may protest to the Control Department if local organs fail to implement directives), the representatives are also given the right to petition "appropriate federal organs of executive authority." Theoretically, if a particular representative had ties to the Federal Security Services, he could appeal to the Moscow FSB for intervention. The representatives are also tasked with handling appeals from the local populace and addressing citizens' complaints. As with many state bureaucratic positions in Russia today, the job description of a given post may prove less significant than the connections and access of the individual in the job.
The auction winner, a coalition including Oneximbank's Vladimir Potanin, has been attacked in the media owned by his primary rival, MOST's Vladimir Gusinsky. An alliance between Security Council Deputy Boris Berezovsky and Gusinsky may explain an attack on the auction by Russian Public Television (ORT). While Berezovsky has a significant interest in ORT, the government maintains a 51 percent share, which may explain the displeasure with which government officials received the ORT broadcast. (Ekho moskvy, 27 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-208)
If the Svyazinvest auction has served no other function, it provides a warning to those who would attempt to interpret the Russian press without careful consideration of the financial and political interests underlying the ownership of any publication.
State cadres to be cut
by Susan J. Cavan
The "Founding Act" on NATO-Russian relations, signed on 27 May, says that the Permanent Joint Council "will be chaired jointly by the Secretary General of NATO, a representative of one of the NATO member states on a rotation basis, and a representative of Russia." Churkin objected to NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana's suggestion that, for the sake of continuity, he chair all the meetings. The chair will rotate according to the issues under discussion. ITAR-TASS reported that the first meeting was divided into three parts, with one of the three representatives chairing a part.
Foreign Ministry, Zyuganov both support law restricting religious
The bill, which would recognize only four "traditional" religions and would impose a fifteen-year waiting period on recognition of others, had been passed by the Duma but not signed by the president when the Foreign Ministry came to its defense. Faced with criticism from the United States Senate, the ministry released an official pronouncement. "No state," the Russian Federation Foreign Ministry announcement stressed, "can remain indifferent to offenses taking place on its territory." (Trud, 23 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-203)
The Foreign Ministry did not explain why it was defending a bill that had not even yet become law. But its statement was in accord with the sentiments of National Patriotic Front leader Gennadi Zyuganov, who denounced the U.S. Senate's position as "trouble-making." (Sovetskaya rossiya, 22 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-203)
Primakov highlights Sino-Russian friendship at ASEAN meeting
The joint declaration titled "On a Multi-polar World and Formation of a New International World Order," signed by the Russian and Chinese presidents in Moscow on 23 April, makes a strong statement "in favor of establishing a new world order based on equitable cooperation and account of the interests of each other as well as those of the rest of the world," Primakov told the diplomats gathered in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia. (Xinhua, 0833 GMT, 27 Jul 97; FBIS-CHI-97-208).
While in attendance at the ASEAN meeting, Primakov held talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Qian Qichen on an anticipated visit to Beijing by Russian president Boris Yel'tsin in the autumn. Primakov also discussed the rights of Japanese fishermen near the disputed Kuril Islands and plans to train Russian businessmen in Tokyo with Japanese Foreign Minister Yukihiko Ikeda. (Kyodo, 0819 GMT, 29 Jul 97; FBIS-EAS-97-210). Before arriving in Malaysia, Primakov stopped over in South Korea, where he signed an agreement on compensation for the seized Tsarist embassy (Interfax, 0744 GMT, 25 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-206).
A "Great Game" that no one wants to play
Speaking at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies on 21 July, Talbott said that it had become fashionable to speak of an impending repeat of the struggle a century ago between Britain and Russia. He asked instead that "the geopolitics of oil" be conducted "in terms appropriate to the 21st century and not the 19th." (Reuters, 21 Jul 97)
Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadi Tarasov said that Russia had no interest in playing such a game, and was working instead for stability and democracy in Asia. (ITAR-TASS, 1546 GMT, 22 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-203)
Russia accepts draft version of revisions to the CFE Treaty
The two most significant changes would affect the new members of NATO and the nations of the Caucasus and Baltics. One would switch from a Cold War policy of weighing the weapons of NATO against Russia and its allies, and would measure arms deployments instead by region and individual nation. The draft revisions insist that new members of NATO from Eastern Europe decrease their troop levels whenever troops from other NATO members are deployed on their territory. It also allows for an increase of Russian troops along the borders with the Baltic and Caucasian states. (Kurier, 25 Jul 97; FBIS-TAC-97-206)
The document "is not a framework agreement yet, i.e. it is not a full package of the future treaty," Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadi Tarasov said. The treaty participants have not yet determined the term "existing forces" with regard to permanent deployment of NATO capabilities on the territory of new members of the alliance, he said.
The flank agreement also needs further discussion, he said. All the figures set in the Treaty on Conventional Military Forces in Europe must be taken into account in the announced voluntary arms reductions, he said. (Interfax, 1351 GMT, 24 Jul 97; FBIS-UMA-97-205)
Comment: Let the games begin
Unfortunately, it takes two not to play. The United States may get up and walk away from the board, but that does not mean that Russia will stop moving its pieces forward. Indeed, the foreign policy of Russia's Yevgeni Primakov, obsessed with "multi-polarity," is bent on reducing the dominant position of the liberal West in world affairs. While "multi-polarity" may sound like a doctrine of cooperation that Talbott could endorse, it is in fact just the opposite. Rather than a world in which major players work together for mutual benefit, Primakov imagines a globe divided into spheres of influence, each dominated by a regional hegemony.
Nor can one compare a post-Cold War world to the clash of empires in the last century. The Caucasians and Central Asians today are organized into independent states. Even the most autocratic of these represents the interests of its people better than a foreign power could. These states ought to be allowed freedom of choice when making alliances; if most take the chance to align themselves with the liberal West, we ought to welcome their decision as a condemnation of neo-imperialism. To dismiss their ambitions to escape Russian influence would itself be an act of high hubris that denied these newly-independent nations a role in their own affairs.
by Chandler Rosenberger
POLITICAL PARTIES & LEGISLATIVE BRANCH
The Duma's resolution says the withdrawal of peacekeepers from the region of the former armed conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia is premature. Future conflict in the regions may become a threat to the "territorial integrity" of the Russian Federation. The Duma has passed the resolution on the Federation Council for consideration.
Although ostensibly a CIS affair, the entire CIS peacekeeping force is made up of Russian troops. For this reason, the Duma has urged the Russian Foreign Ministry to conduct direct negotiations with Georgia and Abkahazia on the stationing of its troops on their soil.
By suggesting bilateral negotiations outside of the CIS framework, not to mention the peacekeeping mandate, it begins to look like the CIS is nothing more than a department within the Russian Foreign Ministry (ITAR-TASS, 1322 GMT, 23 Jun 97; wnc.fedworld.gov)
Chernomyrdin calls for extraordinary session
Here can be seen one of the limits of the present Russian parliamentary system. Week- or month-long recesses can be awkward in a system dependent upon parliamentary action. Indeed, it provides the executive branch with an opportunity to act without parliamentary response. Given Russian political reality, however, the Duma possess no real threat to presidential power, but should the present system endure, the protracted period of "vacation" will have to be amended (Interfax, 1559 GMT, 30 Jun 97; wnc.fedworld.gov).
In effect, Kislyuk -- the last remaining appointed governor in the federation -- was at a disadvantage in negotiating with the democratically elected Legislative Assembly. Federal law states that each region or subject is to pass the appropriate laws on its future upon the democratic election of all branches of government. Since Kislyuk is an appointee, it hardly seems appropriate that he should attempt to fashion Kemerovo's democratic structure (Interfax in English, 1101 GMT, 20 June 1997; wnc.fedworld.gov)
On 1 July 1997, Yel'tsin reassigned Kislyuk to "another job," the nature of which is unknown. Kislyuk had been critical of Moscow's handling of the region's coal industry and had been supportive of all-Russia union strikes. He was replaced, ironically, by his predecessor, Aman Tuleyev, who also had been removed by Yel'tsin for his role in the 1991 coup which ousted Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev. Tuleyev was relieved of his duties as Minister for CIS Affairs (Interfax, 1141 GMT, 1 Jul 97; wnc.fedworld.gov).
by Michael Thurman
NEWLY INDEPENDENT STATES
Agreement to provide air defense protection
No farewell to arms
According to Tiraspol leader Igor Smirnov, "All armaments of the former 14th army, situated at the territory of Dniester, are the property of Dniester republic." Smirnov made the statement at a meeting with representatives of the Russian Ministry of Defense. Although the commander of Russian troops, LTG Valeriy Evnevich, expressed his concern over the poor condition of the arms and the difficulties associated with their secure storage, Smirnov declared that his side was "ready to provide for storage and security of the armaments"(Chisinau Infotag, 21 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-202). If the arms are given to the Dniester Republic, it will be interesting to see if they end up rotting in place, being sold on the black market, or being fired at Moldovan, Ukrainian, and Russian peacekeepers.
New deputy chairman of parliament chosen
Union intelligence service to be established
Problems with the neighbors
Another example of un-neighborly relations occurred when a camera team from Russia's ORT TV broadcasting company was temporarily detained on the Belarusian-Lithuanian border as they shot footage on the activities of Belarusian border guards. According to Interfax (22 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-203), the ORT office had applied for permission a week prior to send the camera team, but the State Border Committee did not reply in writing. The journalists learned that the border guards had been "advised not to talk to ORT correspondents." The Belarusian Committee for State Security then opened a criminal case against the team on charges of violating the Belarusian state frontier (ITAR-TASS World Service, 28 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-209). The incident touched off a wave of condemnations by both domestic and foreign press representatives, but it is in keeping with President Lukashenka's recent directives to get tough on foreign journalists as well as his own Customs and Border Services.
Lawyer's rights curtailed
Involvement in regional issues increases
Hennadiy Udovenko, Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that Ukraine will take part in the construction of the Turkmenistan-Armenia gas pipeline by supplying pipes and equipment. (Lvov Infobank, 15 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-196).
Foreign Minister Udovenko also visited Estonia for a two-day official visit. On his agenda were discussions relating to economic relations, regional politics, and security issues (Estonian Television Network, 24 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-205).
All of these stories taken together reflect that Ukraine continues to develop as a regional leader (and competitor) in the economic, military, and political spheres
.by Mark Jones
Aliev's US visit
On 28 July President Aliev began his first visit to the US by meeting with UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, who voiced support for the OSCE proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh. (Turan, 29 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-210). On 31 July, Aliev described the latest OSCE Minsk Group initiatives during a lecture at Georgetown University. Aliev used a map to illustrate the proposals; in the first stage, Armenian forces leave the six non-Karabakh Azeri districts they currently occupy and OSCE troops are stationed along the Karabakh border. In the second stage, the parties negotiate the status of Nagorno-Karabakh and Armenia withdraws its forces from Shusha and Lachin. The Lachin corridor remains as a link between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh and is policed by OSCE forces. In regard to the status of Karabakh, Aliev reiterated Azerbaijan's long-held position that the region can have the highest degree of autonomy short of independence. (Turan, 31 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-212) Although divulging the details of the proposals is contrary to the rules of confidentiality governing the peace process, the content of the proposals in fact had appeared in the press before he gave this speech.
On July 31 Aliev met with Defense Secretary Cohen in Washington and signed an agreement on bilateral military cooperation. They agreed to hold regular consultations on security issues and military cooperation at the level of defense minister. Further details of what that cooperation entails were not available, but if the joint statement they released serves as any indication, the military cooperation is conditional on a settlement of the Karabakh conflict. "The sides agreed that the resolution of the Nagorno Karabakh conflict as soon as possible would create broad opportunities to strengthen Azerbaijani-American relations in the defense sphere." Secretary Cohen expressed his wish to "propose a programme of cooperation enabling the development of the Azerbaijani armed forces under conditions of democratic and civilian control." He further suggested that this program may include contacts between senior military personnel, military training, preparation of military budgets and the management of armed forces reserves. (Turan, 1 Aug 97; BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, 4 Aug 97)
On 1 August Aliev had a three-hour meeting with President Clinton during which they discussed expanding bilateral cooperation in the political, security, economic, and commercial spheres; the OSCE Minsk Group proposals on Nagorno-Karabakh; the importance of their commercial relationship; Azerbaijan's economic reform program and its integration into international financial and security structures.
The joint statement emphasized that President Aliev has "endorsed the recent proposal of the co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group as the basis for intensified negotiations to achieve a peace agreement this year." For his part, "President Clinton reiterated the administration's strong support for the repeal of Section 907." The presidents "welcomed the establishment of an official dialogue on energy policy and commercial issues ...[and] agreed on the vital importance of the Eurasian transport corridor to the economic future of Azerbaijan and the entire region. The two presidents welcomed the signing of the US.-Azerbaijani Bilateral Investment Treaty and the US Export Bank Incentive Agreement." (US Newswire, 1 Aug 97)
On the same day three new oil contracts valued at $10 billion were signed with Amoco, Chevron, Exxon and Mobil. (US Newswire, 1 Aug 97)
Iran condemns oil deals concluded in Washington
This announcement had obvious implications for Azerbaijan; it opens the door to the possibility of transporting Azeri oil across Iran. Yet, it seems that US reluctance to deal with Iran is only one factor thwarting this plan; the strained relationship between Iran and Azerbaijan may prove an even more formidable obstacle. Iran is home to an ethnic Azeri population roughly equal to the population of Azerbaijan. Some Azeri movements had sought a reunion with "Southern Azerbaijan" (which lies just across the border in Iran), and although the current government has not furthered such designs, Teheran remains wary of the possibility of a secessionist movement in its northern districts. In 1995 President Aliev, bowing to Clinton administration pressure, cut Iran out of the largest oil deal in the Caspian. That action was particularly embarrassing for Iran because it was originally announced that Iran would participate and then, after intensive US lobbying, Iran's shares were distributed to US companies. Although Azerbaijan and Iran have signed development contracts since then, these were for smaller, less-visible projects that never earned "contract of the century" billing. In recent months Aliev barred the pro-Iranian political party, Islamic Party, from holding a congress and other electioneering activities.
by Miriam Lanskoy
Perhaps as a sign of confidence in the peace process, President Rahmonov decreed a 30% staff reduction in the personnel of: the Ministry of Internal Affairs of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Committee for State Border Protection under the government of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Presidential Guard of the Republic of Tajikistan, the Committee for Emergency Situations and Civil Protection under the government of the Republic of Tajikistan, and the Special Rapid Reaction Brigade. The decree was issued on 10 July and is to be carried out over the next four weeks in order to make more funding available to raise the salaries of teachers and scientists and to bolster the social safety net (Radio Tajikistan Network, 1200 GMT, 10 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-191). Although the Tajik government is no doubt in need of additional funds in order to begin rebuilding the country, it is also interesting to note that two of the bodies whose staffs are to be reduced are the Special Rapid Reaction Brigade and the Presidential Guard, both of which have been plagued by incidents of mutiny. The Presidential Guard was also unable to capture the renegade militia leader Rezvon Sodirov, who is rumored to still be at large in the country.
Andrei Nikolaev, director of the Russian Federal Border Services, told reporters in Moscow earlier in the month that the possibility now existed of implementing a gradual reduction of the number of border troops stationed in Tajikistan. He also informed reporters that the border guards had so far halted more than 80 attempted illegal border crossings from Afghanistan and had been engaged in 13 border skirmishes, ostensibly with UTO groups. The Russian border guards are apparently working in cooperation with Afghan forces (it was not specified which forces) to stop illegal border crossings, using the 25 km security zone established in August 1996 (this security zone permits Russian troops to pass up to 25 km across the Afghan border) to catch and detain smugglers and "militants"(Interfax, 1008 GMT, 2 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-183).
Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan plan pipeline route via Georgia, excluding
Comment: The borders of the Central Asian republics were established in such a way that no single republic can be completely self-sufficient in terms of its water resources. The republics must tap into each other's rivers and reservoirs in order to provide enough water to irrigate their crops, not the least important of which is the cotton crop. Despite the fact that it was largely the huge increase in cotton cultivation during Soviet times which caused the Aral Sea to shrink to its present size, since becoming independent most of the Central Asian governments have chosen to raise cotton production even higher, because it is a valuable cash crop and export on the world market. Kyrgyzstan's decision to begin demanding payment for the use of its water resources could mark the start of a serious battle among the Central Asian republics over water rights. For instance, Kyrgyzstan is claiming ownership of the Naryn River, which forms its border with Uzbekistan. No doubt, the Uzbek government will dispute this claim, and perhaps demand compensation from the Kyrgyz government for its use of water from this river.
by Monika Shepherd
Despite Albright's assurances of continued support, the Clinton administration sent an entirely different message the same week, with the nomination of Stephen Sestanovich, .a vocal opponent of NATO expansion, as Ambassador-at-Large for the Newly Independent States. (ELTA, 0607 GMT, 10 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-191)
The news from countries closer to home was a little more encouraging: After a meeting with their Baltic colleagues, presidents Aleksandr Kwasniewski from Poland, Vaclav Havel from the Czech Republic and Arpad Goncz of Hungary, having received the sought-after NATO invitation in Madrid, said they would act as special advocates for early Baltic admission, Latvian President Guntis Ulmanis reported. (Radio Riga Network, 9 Jul 97; FBIS-SOV-97-190)
by Kate Martin