Affirmative section consultation and cooperation through dialogue networks



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RUSSIA'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS STOP IT FROM PLAYING AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN WORLD AFFAIRS
Chikahito Harada, Intl. Institute for Strategic Studies, July, 1997; RUSSIA AND NORTH-EAST ASIA, Adelphi Paper 310, p. 12 , acs-VT99

Russia's political and economic problems have tended to restrict both its ability to implement its foreign policy and its role on the international stage. This situation has created a gap between Russia's policy objectives and their actual implementation, or -Lines the shift in the between rhetoric and real policy.


DECREASED RUSSIAN CAPACITIES HAVE REDUCED RUSSIA'S FOREIGN POLICY ROLE AROUND THE WORLD
Roger Kanet, Prof. Political Science Univ. of Illinois, 1997; THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, p. 192-193 , acs-VT99

First, domestic politics and other internal factors have limited the cope of policy options available to Russian policy makers. Efforts to restructure the Russian economy have reduced the resources available to the government to conduct foreign policy. This, in turn, has forced Russian policy-makers to reduce commitments and involvement in certain areas of the world where the Soviet Union was once very actively involved, such as the developing countries. The de-ideologization of Russian foreign policy has acted as an impetus for the ways in which these cutbacks have occurred. In other words, a convincing reason no longer exists for Russia to maintain a relatively active relationship with a substantial number of developing states. Many of these relationships were built and sustained merely for ideological reasons, such as to counter US interests in a particular geographic region.


RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY COMMITMENTS CANNOT BE CARRIED OUT EFFECTIVELY
F. Stephen Larrabee & Theodore Karasik, National Defense Research Institute, 1997; FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY DECISIONMAKING UNDER YELTSIN, p. 2-3 , acs-VT99

However, it is one thing to have legal authority over foreign and security policy and quite another to exercise that authority effectively. It is on the latter score that Yeltsin has failed most dramatically. Despite several attempts, Yeltsin failed to set up a well-organized and efficient system for foreign and security policy decisionmaking.


RUSSIA IS INCAPABLE OF IMPLEMENTING ITS FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY DESPITE THE RHETORIC
Chikahito Harada, Intl. Institute for Strategic Studies, July, 1997; RUSSIA AND NORTH-EAST ASIA, Adelphi Paper 310, p. 34, acs-VT99

Combining Interests, Constraints and Players

Russia's current political, economic and military difficulties have curtailed its state power, prevented the full implementation of its foreign and security policy, and obscured its international role. Furthermore, the proliferation of decision-makers and political players, coupled with a lack of coherent policy coordination, has made it difficult for both Russians and external analysts to identify the precise direction of the country's economic and foreign policies." Political rhetoric must be carefully analysed and distinguished from real policy, and policy objectives must be differentiated from their actual implementation.

RUSSIAN DI0PLOMACY IS DICTATED BY THEIR OWN DOMESTIC NEEDS


RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IS, MORE AND MORE, CONTROLLED BY ECONOMIC AND PRIVATE CONSIDERATIONS
Angela Stent, professor of government at Georgetown University, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 23, HEADLINE: RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY: THE NEW PRAGMATISM acs-VT99

Economic, and not political, considerations are increasingly influencing the direction of Russian foreign policy. Moreover, Russian foreign policy is also becoming increasingly "privatized"; that is, energy companies and industrial -- financial groups are pursuing their own commercial interests, which do not always coincide with the agendas of the Russian Foreign or Defense Ministry -- or even the Kremlin.


RUSSIAN FOREIGN POLICY IS DICTATED BY DOMESTIC PRIORITIES, NOT GEOPOLITICAL ONES
Chikahito Harada, Intl. Institute for Strategic Studies, July, 1997; RUSSIA AND NORTH-EAST ASIA, Adelphi Paper 3 101 p. 14, acs-VT99

Since 1991, Russians have perceived their country's foreign policy as an extension of its pressing domestic priorities, and have tended to view the external environment through the prism of internal economic and political crises. Russia's domestic politics have thus had a major influence on its foreign policy course


RUSSIAN DIPLOMACY IN INEFFECTIVE IN VARIOUS REGIONS OF THE GLOBE
RUSSIA'S POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC WEAKNESS MAKES IT UNABLE TO ASSIST THE PEACE PROCESS IN KOREA
Chikahito Harada, Intl. Institute for Strategic Studies, July, 1997; RUSSIA AND NORTH-EAST ASIA, Adelphi Paper 310, p. 69, acs-VT99

The fundamental reason for Russia's disengagement from the Korean Peninsula is not a lack of balanced relations with the two Koreas. The US, China and Japan, for example, have no such balanced relations. Should Moscow achieve such a balance, to what extent could it influence both Koreas to guarantee Russia an influential role on the Peninsula? The real reason for Russia's marginalisation is its weakened political, military and economic power. This same reason underlies Russia's current peripheral role in the Asia-Pacific as a whole. The US and South Korea have both been cautious about involving Russia in the talks on the future of the Peninsula. North Korea, for its part, sees no merit in including Russia, which Pyongyang fears may increase external pressure on it. Russia, in turn, may expect China to support its involvement on the Peninsula, but, as analysed in Chapter 2, China is not an active supporter. On the Korean Peninsula, a discrepancy between Russia's policy objectives and their implementation, and a distinction between real Russian influence and illusory Soviet influence - for which the Russian elite remains nostalgic - will therefore remain.


RUSSIA WANTS IRAQ BACK IN THE WORLD COMMUNITY BECAUSE IRAQ OWES THEM $7 BILLION
Robert O. Freedman, president of the Baltimore Hebrew University, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 16, HEADLINE: PRIMAKOV AND THE MIDDLE EAST acs-VT99

The second interest Yeltsin's Russia has in Iraq is in regaining the $ 7 billion which Iraq owes to Russia, something that cannot be achieved until sanctions against Iraq are lifted. The third interest in Iraq is in acquiring contracts for Russian factories, oil and gas companies, although the actual activities of these companies also cannot begin until sanctions are lifted.


RUSSIA HAS STALLED ACTIONS AGAINST GENOCIDE BY SERBIA
Mark Gage, Professional Staff Member for East Europe and the New Independent States, Committee on International Relations, U.S. House of Representatives, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 30, HEADLINE: THE FUTURE OF UNITED STATES -- RUSSIAN RELATIONS acs-VT99

With regard to European security, time and again Russia has supported Slobodan Milosevic and the ethnic Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia, despite the allegations of war crimes and ethnic cleansing tied to them, and had to be dragged into agreeing to a more forceful approach to ending the violence in Bosnia while being given a role in the NATO-led force as a bow to Russia's claimed interests in the Balkan region.


RUSSIA WILL REMAIN LARGELY UNINVOLVED IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD
Roger Kanet, Prof. Political Science Univ. of Illinois, 1997; THE FOREIGN POLICY OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, p. 184 , acs-VT99

Political involvement of the Russian Federation in the developing world is likely to remain limited, however, because of the mismatch between the expanding objectives of the Russian leadership in the foreign policy realm and the restricted resource base from which it is operating. Preoccupied with numerous security problems in the 'near abroad' and socio-economic misfortunes at home, Russia, at least in the near future, will not be able to claim the role of the major player in African, Asian and Latin American politics. Nevertheless, if successful, Russia's increasing economic activities on both continents, in particular in the area of the arms trade, will eventually form a basis on which Moscow can potentially reassert its political power.


CIVIL WAR
THESIS: The Russian economy is in fairly bad shape. People have taken about all they can take, and the next economic shock will bring warfare in the streets all over Russia. Any plan that risks harming the Russian economy also risks setting off a civil war.
A. RUSSIAN PEOPLE HAVE TAKEN ALL THEY CAN AND ARE ON THE BRINK OF A SOCIAL EXPLOSION
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, August 11, 1997; Pg. 24; HEADLINE: The other Russia: Moscow glitters, the economy collapses, the army rumbles. acs-VT99

It may also be, however, that today's opposition, like the Kremlin, fears the people, who by all counts and nearly every criterion now live worse than before 1991. Widespread analogies with 1917 and Albania may be for political effect, but there is a palpable anxiety across the political spectrum that the fabled patience of the Russian people has limits, and when they are reached the result could be beyond anyone's control. Indeed, it is surely indicative that while all the Moscow-based leaders and parties are already preparing for the next parliamentary and presidential elections, scheduled respectively for 1999 and 2000, no one is certain when or even whether they will actually take place.


B. ECONOMIC CRISIS WILL LEAD TO A BLOODY RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 62 acs-VT99

Collisions of economic interests cause political confrontations even bloodshed. This is the bottom line of all revolutions, as well as counterrevolutions. However speedy and triumphant a political revolution, its ultimate success or defeat is determined by the outcome of the struggle of political-economic interests, a struggle that is accelerated by the momentum of the revolution or counterrevolution. The 1917 October Revolution was followed by a civil war, which we now perceive as a national tragedy. Since August 1991 and the subsequent actions of the Yeltsin political regime, a new national tragedy is looming on our horizon


C. RUSSIA IS ON THE BRINK OF INTERNAL COLLAPSE WHICH WOULD DRAW OUTSIDE POWERS INTO A NUMBER OF FLASHPOINTS
Valery V. Tsepkalo, Belarus' Ambassador to the United States, March, 1998 /April, 1998 [Foreign Affairs. SECTION: ESSAYS; Pg. 107. HEADLINE: The Remaking of Eurasia \\ jan]VT99

But abetting the continuing destabilization of Eurasia is not in the West's interests. NATO enlargement has not consolidated anti-Western forces in the region, as some Western experts had feared, but it has encouraged the division of Eurasia and the shattering of the Russian Federation. There will likely be further attempts at secession, although not necessarily according to the bloody model of Chechnya. Central Asia and the Caucasus are rife with flash points that could ignite several nations and draw in outside powers. And with regional destabilization and the slackening of central control, the nuclear threat is perhaps greater now than during the Cold War.


BRINK: RUSSIA IS ON THE BRINK OF A CIVIL WAR
RUSSIA IS ON THE VERGE OF A SOCIAL EXPLOSION -- A NATIONAL CATASTROPHE
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 141 , acs-VT99

Our country is on the verge of social explosion. By all significant indexes, Russia has been pushed back by many years. The promises of the authorities are no longer believed by anyone, and their inability and incapacity to manage Russia's national economy effectively and professionally is obvious to everyone. The choice today is either a change in economic policy or national catastrophe.


RUSSIA IS ON THE BRINK OF INTERNAL COLLAPSE
Valery V. Tsepkalo, Belarus' Ambassador to the United States, March, 1998 /April, 1998 [Foreign Affairs. SECTION: ESSAYS; Pg. 107, HEADLINE: The Remaking of Eurasia \\ jan]VT99

As Russia broke up the Soviet Union, it soured its relations with the union's former republics and stopped treating many non-Russian peoples in its territory with dignity. Thus the central government incessantly duels with Tatarstan over tax revenues. Ingushetia and the Primorsky (Far Eastern) regions have demanded greater autonomy. North Caucasia, the Volga Basin, and the Siberian republics speak of secession. Tatarstan wants to sell oil independently on world markets and is building, with German help, its own tanker fleet, Talk of a Rus Republic that would include only predominantly ethnic Russian areas is fashionable. The Russian parliament held two hearings last year at which self-determination for ethnic Russian and Muslim Turkic populations was discussed, raising the possibility of the secession of ethnic Russian areas from the Russian Federation, a process that would break up Russia itself in the same manner as the Soviet Union. The very mention of such a scenario proves that the Russian elite has forgotten how to coexist with other peoples and ethnic groups,


POST-COMMUNIST STATES ARE RIPE FOR ETHNIC REVOLUTION AND VIOLENCE
Bruce Parrott, Prof. Russian & East European Studies at Johns Hopkins Univ., 1997; DEMOCRATIC CHANGES AND AUTHORITARIAN REACTIONS IN RUSSIA, UKRAINE, BELARUS, AND MOLDOVA, p. 9-10 , acs-VT99

Due to the breakup of Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, and the Soviet Union, twenty-two of the twenty-seven postcommunist states are new sovereign entities. This is one of the main features that distinguishes postcommunist efforts to build democracy from comparable processes in Latin America and Southern Europe."

The break-up of states severely complicates efforts to achieve democratization. The process frequently triggers incendiary controversies over the national identity of the new states, contested borders, and rival groups' competing claims to be the only indigenous inhabitants of their new country. In cases as diverse as Croatia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Russia, national declarations of independence from a larger communist regime have coincided with simultaneous attempts by local minorities to declare their own independence from the newly established states. Such centrifugal processes, which cannot be resolved by appealing to the principle of national self-determination, increase the probability of violent communal conflict and the emergence of ultranationalist sentiments harmful to democratization .
POLITICAL STABILITY IN RUSSIA IS VERY, VERY FRAGILE
Ariel Cohen; Senior Policy Analyst at The Heritage Foundation, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 28, HEADLINE: WHAT KIND OF RELATIONSHIP? WHAT KIND OF RUSSIA? acs-VT99

Political stability in Russia is as deep as the surgeon's stitches on Yeltsin's coronary blood vessels. Several candidates with unsavory business associates -- and large and questionable business holdings -- are jockeying for the best position to run for the presidency in the year 2000. The lines between federal and local politics, big business, and criminal activities are blurred. Former presidential adviser and bodyguard General Alexander Korzhakov uses criminal jargon in a press conference, while former Deputy Secretary of the Security Council Boris Berezovsky was a target of a gangland-style explosion.


RUSSIA’S ECONOMY IS ABOUT TO MELT DOWN LIKE MEXICO AND SOUTH KOREA’S
Daniil Osmolovsky. Kommersant-Daily, April 25, 1998, pp. 1, 3. Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, May 27, 1998; Pg. 4, HEADLINE: Kiriyenko Wins Confirmation on Third Try acs-VT99

The globalization of financial markets has put Russia in an extremely vulnerable position, as last year's crisis clearly demonstrated. Undercollection of taxes, uncertain prospects for industrial growth, a stagnating banking sector, a substantial percentage of nonresidents holding state treasury obligations -- all these things are factors that, given a rapid increase in budgetary debt, are bringing us closer to the prospect of devaluation of the ruble and even financial collapse of the kind that occurred in Mexico or South Korea.


DEPRESSED REGIONS WILL REVOLT AGAINST MOSCOW
MOSCOW IS DOING WELL, BUT THE REST OF RUSSIA IS A DISASTER IN THE PROCESS OF HAPPENING
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, August 11, 1997; Pg. 24; HEADLINE: The other Russia: Moscow glitters, the economy collapses, the army rumbles. acs-VT99

Whatever the full explanation, Moscow is an island of relative prosperity -- a "fiefdom of thieves," as it has been called -- in a decaying country. Most of the privatized wealth accumulated since the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union has been concentrated in the capital through a semi-criminal and oligarchical banking system, along with nearly 80 percent of all the country's new investment. The rest of Russia remains in the throes of the twentieth century's greatest depression -- even according to the government's own statistics. The fall in production, down nearly 50 percent since 1991, continues, and unemployment is expected to exceed at least 10 percent by next year. Capital investment dropped 18 percent last year and 8 percent in the first quarter of this year.

In conversations with Russians from the provinces, we found none who could report any signs of improvement. On the contrary, several spoke despairingly of a "dying nation" -- idle factories, decaying farms, polluted rivers, malnourished children and collapsing professions, education and health care. According to official statistics, 25 to 30 percent of Russians now live in poverty, but even those astonishing figures give little indication that a large twentieth-century middle class is being transformed into nineteenth-century subsistence farmers, who must grow on tiny garden plots what they need to survive but can no longer afford to buy.
DEPRESSED REGIONS ARE ON THE VERGE OF A SOCIAL EXPLOSION
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, August 11, 1997; Pg. 24; HEADLINE: The other Russia: Moscow glitters, the economy collapses, the army rumbles. acs-VT99

By all accounts, there is no stability in these provincial wastelands. Tens of millions of citizens, among them workers, teachers, doctors and soldiers, still have not received months of salaries. In some of the most stricken areas, there is a growing pattern of direct citizen action and violent protest so dramatic (though still episodic) as to remind observers of the recent uprising in Albania. In the Kuzbass region, miners protesting unpaid wages threatened to take up arms. In the Far East, workers and pensioners blocked railways lines and bridges while wives of unpaid officers closed a military airbase by lying down on runways. Workers at a nuclear submarine facility sealed off the yard and took the managing director hostage until wages were flown in from Moscow. Teachers and doctors in the city of Kimry occupied the city hall, blockading administrators inside until adequate supplies and back salaries were promised.


LINK: THE NEXT ECONOMIC SHOCK WILL TRIGGER A RUSSIAN CIVIL WAR
ECONOMIC STAGNATION MEANS THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY
Lisa Hoffman, Scripps Howard News Service, The Patriot Ledger , March 24, 1998; Pg. 01, HEADLINE: Cleaning Russia's house ; Russian upheaval may be dramatic gesture acs-VT99

The most dangerous threat to democracy is continued economic stagnation, which has led some in Russia to lament the passing of the good ol' days of communism, when pensioners didn't have to scrape for bread money and crime was hidden and rare.

But if Yeltsin's economic shin-kick works, or if Russians simply perceive better chances for prosperity ahead, democracy's roots will only grow deeper.
THE NEXT MOVE TO SHOCK THE ECONOMY INTO CAPITALISM WILL CAUSE A SOCIAL EXPLOSION
Katrina vanden Heuvel, The Nation, August 11, 1997; Pg. 24; HEADLINE: The other Russia: Moscow glitters, the economy collapses, the army rumbles. acs-VT99

In light of all this, can Yeltsin's reconstituted "young reformer" government, headed by Chubais and Boris Nemtsov, really be serious about imposing a new round of economic "shock therapy" -- this one by abolishing longstanding state subsidies for housing and utilities? "Another dose of this "therapy,'" warned former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev during a conversation at his foundation offices, "is likely to generate a social explosion. People don't receive their wages and now the government is going to raise their rents! What is it thinking"


RUSSIA'S ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL PROBLEMS ARE INEXTRICABLY INTERTWINED
BOB PACKWOOD, March 2,1998 [Journal of Commerce. SECTION: EDITORIAL/OPINION; Pg. 7A. HEADLINE: Time is ripe for US-Russia free trade \\ jan]VT99

After nearly a decade of continuous economic decline, the Russian economy managed to grow 0.4 percent in 1997. Before Asia's financial meltdown, most economists mistakenly saw Russia on the verge of an economic revival. The Asian crisis unnerved international investors, particularly those in emerging markets. In the last two months of 1997 alone, foreign investors withdrew $4 billion from Russia. To defend the ruble and stem the foreign capital outflow, Russia's central bank raised the country's key lending rate to 42 percent from 28 percent and then back down to 39 percent. But now high interest rates threaten to forestall Russia's economic recovery.

Meanwhile, the government's continued reliance on high-yield, short-term debt could eventually lead Russia into a financial crisis of its own, prompting many economists to predict continued stagnation.

Russia's fiscal, economic and political problems are intimately connected. With Communists in control of Russia's lower house of Parliament, Mr. Yeltsin's tax, budget and free-market reform efforts have stalled.


IMPACT: CIVIL WAR COLLAPSE OF RUSSIA WILL COLLAPSE THE WORLD ECONOMY
IF RUSSIA’S ECONOMY GOERS, THE WORLD SYSTEM, ALREADY WEAKENED BY SOUTHEAST ASIA’S COLLAPSE, MIGHT COLLAPSE
DAVID E. SANGER, The New York Times, June 3, 1998, Section A; Page 10; HEADLINE: Central Europe May Catch Russia's Cold, U.S. Warns, acs-VT99

Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin warned today that unless Russia's financial crisis is resolved, its economic troubles "could spread to Central Europe," placing two major regions -- Asia and Europe -- in simultaneous downturns.

In his first statement since President Clinton said on Sunday that the United States would support an international bailout of Russia, Mr. Rubin chose his comments carefully to avoid worsening the flight from Russian and Asian currencies.

"I think it would be fair to say that the situation facing the world today with respect to financial stability is unprecedented," Mr. Rubin told a group of executives on a Presidential export council. " Russia's a difficult situation. We have an obvious national security interest. There is also the risk, once again, of contagion that could spread to Central Europe."


ECONOMIC PROBLEMS IN RUSSIA WILL QUICKLY SPREAD TO CENTRAL EUROPE
DAVID E. SANGER, The New York Times, June 3, 1998, Section A; Page 10; HEADLINE: Central Europe May Catch Russia's Cold, U.S. Warns, acs-VT99

And Central Europe is still so closely tied to Russia that Moscow's troubles could quickly spread.

In Russia's case, the alarm bells are ringing in Washington, but not with enormous urgency. Deputy finance ministers from the world's largest industrial countries meet in Paris next week to discuss their next moves. Officials say it will probably take several weeks to put together a package of loans or emergency credits through the I.M.F., the World Bank and other international institutions. And the aid they are considering -- about $10 billion -- is about a quarter of what was promised to Indonesia, and a fifth of what was promised to South Korea. At least that is the plan for now. In both South Korea and Indonesia, the problems increased dramatically while the fund and its members negotiated over what to do. The same could easily happen with Russia.

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