Affirmative section consultation and cooperation through dialogue networks



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RUSSIA HAS BEEN CRITICAL IN NEGOTIATING PEACE IN A NUMBER OF LOCAL CONFLICTS ALONG ITS BORDER
Strobe Talbott; Deputy Secretary of State, US Department of State Dispatch, August 18, 1997; Pg. 22; HEADLINE: The end of the beginning: the emergence of a new Russia; acs-VT99

One was President Yeltsin's landmark visit to Kiev in May, which put Russia's relations with Ukraine on a more equitable and predictable footing. Another is the way that Russia is now attempting to end the decade-old war in Nagorno-Karabakh. This year, Russia has joined diplomatic forces with the United States and France under the aegis of the OSCE. This willingness on Russia's part to internationalize rather than attempting to monopolize the management of security along its periphery augurs well for the chances of equitable settlements to other conflicts in Moldova, Georgia, and Tajikistan.


LOSS OF RUSSIAN INFLUENCE IN CENTRAL ASIA WILL LEAD TO A POWER VACUUM AND CONFLICT
Valery V. Tsepkalo; Belarus' Ambassador to the United States, Foreign Affairs, March, 1998 /April, 1998; Pg. 107, HEADLINE: The Remaking of Eurasia acs-VT99

If current trends continue, Russia's clout in Eurasia will further dwindle and that of Western powers and Western-dominated international organizations will grow. The United States, however, will be unable to maintain control of the process. Western allies like Germany, Japan, and Turkey will adopt independent policies in the region. The jockeying of Western interests will exacerbate tensions between and within countries. And the West will confront the increasing power of China and, to a lesser extent, Iran, which will make extending Western influence beyond the Urals impossible. Eurasia will rapidly become a less predictable and more dangerous place.


DECREASING RUSSIAN POWER IN ASIA WILL TRIGGER A SERIES OF CONFLICTS AND WARS
Valery V. Tsepkalo; Belarus' Ambassador to the United States, Foreign Affairs, March, 1998 /April, 1998; Pg. 107, HEADLINE: The Remaking of Eurasia acs-VT99

THE PERILS of the post-Soviet vacuum are starkly visible in Central Asia. The region enjoyed a long period of stability under Soviet rule, but the demise of the U.S.S.R. has left an agglomeration of territories in which the various peoples' overriding ethnic attachments make the five new countries vulnerable to both internal conflict and meddling by outsiders. Resurgent religion has also become a divisive force. Attempts by Iran, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, theUnited States, and China to influence events only upset the balance between clans and increase the chances of conflict. Conversely, intrastate conflict and ethnic wars have the potential to drag in outside states.


UNLESS RUSSIA ACTS TO QUIET DISPUTES WITH BORDERING STATES, THOSE CONFLICTS WILL SPREAD TO RUSSIA AND TEAR IT APART
Abram Chayes, Prof. Law Harvard, 1997; MANAGING CONFLICT IN THE FORMER SOVIET UNION: Russian and American Perspectives, p. 533 , acs-VT99

As Alexei Arbatov points out in- this volume, no responsible Russian government can ignore civil wars and internal clashes on its periphery. Crises are sure to develop in the future. Elementary considerations of security preclude any Russian government from ignoring conditions in which potentially hostile outside powers Could gain a foothold in the region. Moreover, stability on the frontiers is closely linked to stability at home. The treatment of Russian minorities in the near abroad is a central issue feeding reactionary nationalist forces. If violence should become widespread in neighboring states, refugee flows would be enormously disruptive and costly. The Russian Federation itself is a fragile political entity, wracked by ongoing struggles against the weak center waged by regional authorities and autonomous republics.


THERE IS LITTLE RISK OF A RADIAL ISLAMIC REVIVAL IN FORMER SOVIET STATES
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

This was due in part to the fact that, after more than 70 years of Soviet rule, Islam was in a weak state in the countries of the former Soviet Union. The leaders of the Muslim successor states were all secular Muslims, and the chances for an Iranian-style Islamic revolution were very low. Indeed, some skeptics argued that Iran was simply waiting for mosques to be built and Islam to mature before trying to bring about Islamic revolutions.


RUSSIA HAS NO INTENTION OF ACTING MILITARILY AGAINST THE NATIONS OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION
RECENT EVENTS PROVE THE RUSSIAN COMMITMENT TO DEMILITARIZE ITS POST-COLONIAL POLICY TOWARDS ITS NEIGHBORS
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

The demilitarization of conflicts in the near abroad is a central tenet of the postcolonial creed, and for this, 1997 was by far the most productive year to date. With Yeltsin's near-miraculous resurgence after heart-bypass surgery, Moscow moved to settle all the hostilities in the region. Only in Nagorny Karabakh, over which Armenia and Azerbaijan had fought to a standstill, did Russia fail to make progress. On May 12, Russia signed an accord with Chechnya, granting it all but official recognition of independence. Within days, the leader of the self-proclaimed Transdniester Republic (a secessionist Russo-Ukrainian enclave on Moldova's border with Ukraine) signed a memorandum in the Kremlin that effectively affirmed Moldova's sovereignty over the area. In June, the regime in Tajikistan and the Islamic opposition ended five years of bloody civil war. The same month, the Abkhaz president spent two weeks in Moscow with top-level mediators discussing an "interim protocol" for settlement of the Abkhaz-Georgian conflict; and in August, he traveled to Tbilisi for his first face-to-face meeting with Shevardnadze since the war began. On September 4, in the presence of Prime Minister Victor Chernomyrdin, the presidents of North Ossetia and Ingushetia (autonomous republics inside Russia) signed an agreement settling a conflict over North Ossetia's Prigorodny district, where fighting had broken out in November 1992. During the next two days in Vilnius, capital of Lithuania, Chernomyrdin held meetings with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, who all announced they would "soon" sign border agreements with Moscow.


RUSSIA USE ECONOMICS, NOT THE MILITARY, TO INFLUENCE FORMER SOVIET STATES
Dmitry Trenin, deputy director of the Moscow Carnegie Center, The Moscow Times, April 14, 1998, HEADLINE: Words to Deeds in Riga , acs-VT99

Russia has had to reduce its military presence in the Commonwealth of Independent States, and has abandoned military threats. Economic levers have become Russia's principal means of exerting influence and pressure on its neighbors. The ruble, rather than the rifle, will be the message from now on.


RUSSIA UPHOLDS ITS INTERESTS IN CASPIAN AND CENTRAL ASIAN REGIONS WITHOUT SLIDING INTO CONFRONTATION
ITAR-TASS news agency (World Service), BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 25, 1998, HEADLINE: Russia seeks to consolidate relations with Caucasus, Central Asia acs-VT99

Mamedov spoke about Russia's reaction to a report by the assistant US secretary of state for political issues on "the strategic course of the United States in Transcaucasian, Caspian and Central Asian countries" , submitted to the Senate committee for international relations. Mamedov noted that Russia acted independently in the regions, upholding its interests without sliding to confrontation. Russia's security and territorial integrity depend on it, he said.


THERE WILL BE NO GENOCIDE IN THE CENTRAL ASIAN STATES
'Respublika Armenia', Radio, Yerevan, in Russian 25 Oct 97, BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, October 29, 1997, HEADLINE: Baku takes cautious step towards direct talks with Karabakh acs-VT99

[Q] But when Karabakh does not agree to be part of Azerbaijan, because, in addition to many other serious reasons you could again start a genocide...

[A] I believe that genocide is an old bugbear which should not be used to scare anybody. There will be no genocide. You should think about how to restore relations and bring communications into operation so that the oil can flow across Armenian territory, too. Then this will always link us to each other and we will never think about war.
RUSSIA MAY MEDDLE IN THE AFFAIRS OF ITS NEIGHBORS, BUT IT ACCEPTS REALITY AND WILL NOT TRY TO SUBJUGATE THEM
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

Most important, Russia has chosen to accept the independence and sovereignty of the former Soviet republics -- which Russians designate, tellingly, as the "near abroad." This is the critical distinction between the imperial and postcolonial modes of behavior in the region, and the region's leaders understand it well. While they quickly learned to overwhelm some American columnists with complaints about Moscow's arm-twisting, they see clearly the difference between meddling and subjugation.


RUSSIA WILL TRY TO INFLUENCE OTHER FORMER SOVIET STATES, BUT IT WILL NOT ENGAGE IN EXPANSIVE COMMITMENTS TOWARDS THEM
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

Postcolonial Russia can be expected to probe relentlessly for weakness and to exploit its neighbors' troubles in furthering its regional dominance. Nevertheless, Moscow will be constrained by a cost-benefit calculus and wary of open-ended, long-term, and expensive commitments in the former Soviet lands.


RUSSIA WILL BE ABLE TO STABILIZE CENTRAL ASIA WITHOUT RESORTING TO OVERT MILITARY MEANS
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

As for maintaining its regional dominance, however, there should be no illusions: Russia will behave much as great land powers have for millennia in asserting control over their self-declared spheres of influence. Moscow will dispense economic and military assistance to friendly regimes and withhold it from neighbors deemed insufficiently accommodating. In the case of especially recalcitrant neighbors, support for internal rebellions is always an option. Given the economic and political fragility of most of the post-Soviet states, which depend on Russian resources (especially energy) and remain susceptible to ethnic and civil strife, Moscow will sometimes be able to determine the fate of regimes.


RUSSIA WANTS TO ASSERT ITSELF INTO THE AFFAIRS OF THE NATIONS OF THE FORMER SOVIET UNION, MOSTLY TO PROTECT ETHNIC RUSSIANS & COMBAT ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM
RUSSIA IS NOW PREPARING TO ASSERT ITSELF IN THE AFFIRS OF ITS UNSTABLE NEIGHBORS
The Baltimore Sun, April 16, 1998, Pg. 2A, HEADLINE: Moscow's into tough love again, acs-VT99

Small countries that border Russia have never been in an enviable position, and when Moscow starts to throw its weight around it means just one thing: trouble.

Trouble came to Georgia in February, and to Latvia and Norway in March. A new assertiveness is stirring in Russia, and the neighbors better watch out.

" Russia was disoriented for several years, and it had very little respect for itself," says Dmitri Trenin, an analyst with the Carnegie Moscow Center. "That can't go on forever."

And it hasn't. Self-confidence is blooming in Russia's political elite, and, fractious as it may be on domestic issues, there is very little dissent when Russia is seen to be standing up for itself abroad.
MILLIONS OF RUSSIAN LIVING OUTSIDE OF RUSSIA IN EX-SOVIET STATES ARE OPPRESSED AND MARGINALIZED
Holger Jensen, international editor of the Rocky Mountain News, The Fresno Bee, September 29, 1997, Pg. B7, HEADLINE: U.S still searching for Russian doctrine in post-Cold War era acs-VT99

Spanning 11 times zones, Russia has never been a nation-state in the European sense. It is a Eurasian land mass, multiethnic and multireligious. Ethnic Russians accounted for only 50 percent of the population in the old Soviet empire and now that it has disintegrated, 25 percent of them live outside Russia, in other countries within the Commonwealth of Independent States.

These expatriates, who number 30 million, were privileged standard-bearers of both the czars and the Communists. Now they are looked upon with hostility. The Baltic states are trying to push them out. In Central Asia they suffer open discrimination. Back home the situation is reversed, with Muslims, Tatars and other minorities suffering discrimination at Russian hands.
COOPERATION BY RUSSIA AND CENTRAL ASIAN STATES AGAINST ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM LEADS TO CIVIL WAR
SANOBAR SHERMATOVA, Moscow News, May 14, 1998, SECTION: POLITICS; No. 18, HEADLINE: A DEAL WITH ISLAM ? // acs-VT99

The setting up of the "triumvirate" may have a dramatic impact on the Tajik opposition. Moscow and Tashkent once joined hands against the "threat of Islamic fundamentalism" in 1992. The military assistance Russia and Uzbekistan provided to one of the parties in the conflict that led to a full-scale civil war in which Tajikistan lost nearly one million of its citizens. As for the "Islamic factor," it is still here - leaders of the opposition are in the current Tajik government on legitimate terms. Can the new stage in combating Islamic extremism trigger a new wave of civil strife in Tajikistan?


RUSSIA, UZBEKISTAN, AND TAJIKISTAN HAVE CREATED A COOPERATIVE ARRANGEMENT TO OPPOSE ISLAMIC FUNDAMENTALISM
SANOBAR SHERMATOVA, Moscow News, May 14, 1998, SECTION: POLITICS; No. 18, HEADLINE: A DEAL WITH ISLAM ? // acs-VT99

This subject, along with prospects of cooperation, took up the greater part of the talks between the presidents of Russia and Uzbekistan. Boris Yeltsin talked on the phone with the head of Tajikistan Emomali Rakhmonov. What followed was an announcement that a "triumvirate" was created - an alliance between Russia, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan aimed at opposing Islamic fundamentalism. Islam Karimov gave journalists detailed reasons for the setting up of the alliance. Uzbekistan's president said he thought the spread of Wahhabism - the extremist wing of Islamic fundamentalism - both in Central Asia and in the Caucasus was "dangerous."

According to him, Wahhabites aim to come to power and set up Islamic states whenever possible, Karimov pointed to the threat that the spread of Wahhabism poses both in Uzbekistan and on Russia's territory - in Dagestan and Chechnya.
RUSSIAN POLICY IN THE CAUCUSUS IS GOOD
CURRENT POLICY IN THE CAUCASUS AND CASPIAN REGIONS IS THE BEST FOR PROMOTING INDEPENDENCEIN THE REGIONS AND RUSSIAN STABILITY AT THE SAME TIME
Fred Hiatt; International Herald Tribune, August 5, 1997, Pg. 8, HEADLINE: Don't Try to Shoulder Russia Out of the Caucasus Oil Game acs-VT99

In fact, nothing would be simpler than to stop ''appeasing'' Moscow. The United States could cram NATO expansion down Russia's throat, and it could seek to shut Russia out of the Caucasus. It takes neither courage nor cunning to kick someone when he is down.

But the strategy of trying to integrate Russia while bolstering its neighbors is more coherent than what critics from either end can propose. The stronger Azerbaijan and Armenia grow, and Estonia and Poland, the less opportunity they present to would-be Russian adventurers and nationalists.

And the more Russians find legitimate opportunity in Azerbaijan, the greater the chances of peace throughout the region.


RUSSIA IS LIMITING ITS INFLUENCE IN THE CAUCASUS TO SATISFY THE USA
Boris Mkrtchyan, Russian Press Digest, September 4, 1997, HEADLINE: Trailing Along At The Back Of The U.S. Partner, SOURCE: PRAVDA-5, p. 3 acs-VT99

Today, Russia gives up her role in the Caucasian policy, having assumed the positions that suit the U.S., Stupishin says in conclusion.


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RUSSIA & BELARUS
RUSSIA AND BELARUS ARE NOT GOING TO UNITE
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

The second model, which might be called post-colonial, was far less ambitious. Reintegration was conceived as incremental, something that would occur naturally, through the functioning of a privatized Russian economy and a stabilized Russian democracy. Its time frame stretched over decades.

Haltingly and inconsistently, Russia opted for the latter approach. Even the April 1997 "union" with Belarus, which some American observers hastened to declare the beginning of Russia's inexorable westward march, has been quietly diluted. Within months, Russian first deputy prime minister Boris Nemtsov declared that Russia could no more unite with Belarus, a dictatorship with a Soviet-style economy, than South Korea could unite with North Korea. A week later, ostensibly in retaliation for the jailing of a Russian journalist in Belarus, Yeltsin refused permission for the Belarussian president's plane to enter Russian air space.
BELARUS IS FORMING A CLOSE MILITARY ASSOCIATION WITH IRAN, SO RUSSIAN WEAPONS ARE NOT NEEDED
Sergei Karelin. Nezavisimaya gazeta, March 11, 1998, p. 5. , Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, April 8, 1998, SOURCE: WILL AN ANTI-AMERICAN ALLIANCE BE FORMED? acs-VT99

Presidents Mohammad Khatami and Aleksandr Lukashenko were able to find a common language quickly because they do indeed have a mutual interest in cooperation, the importance of which hard to overestimate. On the one hand, Iran, suffering from the effects of the international community's US-initiated sanctions, needs Russian arms supplies. It may be recalled that Belarus ranks ninth in the world in weapons exports. Most of these exports are Russian-made weapons that the Belarussians resell as middlemen. Direct cooperation between Russia and Iran in the military sphere is impossible, since it would draw a negative (and probably very sharp) reaction from the world community, especially the US. But agreements between Belarus and Iran can indeed serve as a corridor through which weapons can flow.


BELARUS-POLAND TENSIONS RISK A NUCLEAR CONFRONTATION BETWEEN THE USA AND RUSSIA
Martin Sieff; THE WASHINGTON TIMES, May 4, 1998, Pg. A1, HEADLINE: Russia raises stakes against NATO; Tensions increase as Moscow balks at alliance's growth // acs-VT99

The growing tensions between Belarus and Poland in particular raise the possibility of a nuclear confrontation between Moscow and Washington reminiscent of the most dangerous days of the Cold War, Mr. Carpenter said.

Some experts say an insecure Russia, reduced by the collapse of the Soviet Union to its most limited boundaries in 350 years, feels it must assert itself against any further erosion of its power and influence.
RUSSIA & UKRAINE
UKRAINE WILL REMAIN FRIENDS WITH BOTH RUSSIA AND THE USA
Viktor Voronin, Tatiana Ivzhenko, Russian Press Digest, July 8, 1997, HEADLINE: Viktor Voronin: "We Are For Multi-vector Foreign Policy" SOURCE: NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA, p. 3 acs-VT99

"Ukraine will never choose between Russia and the United States. Of this I am sure." A statement to this effect has been made by Viktor Voronin, foreign policy adviser to President Leonid Kuchma, in an exclusive NEZAVISIMAYA GAZETA interview.

Voronin said that Ukraine was fully aware of the "significance" of the United States in the modern world. It was equally aware of Russia's role in the present day world. Ukraine, the foreign policy adviser explained, was trying to find a certain equilibrium in cooperation both with Russia and with the United States. However, in his opinion, to counterpoise one direction to another would be "incorrect."
RUSSIAN APPROACH TO ITS NEIGHBORS IS EMBODIED BY ITS TREATY OF FRIENDSHIP AND COOPERATION WITH UKRAINE
Leon Aron, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, The Weekly Standard, April 20, 1998: Pg. 23, HEADLINE: THE REMARKABLE RISE OF DEMOCRATIC RUSSIA , acs-VT99

But by far the most impressive diplomatic coup of that busy year was the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation, and Partnership between Russia and Ukraine, which Yeltsin and Kuchma signed in Kiev on May 31. Russia is Europe's largest country, Ukraine its sixth most populous, and their peaceful relations are as essential to post-Cold War European stability as French- German rapprochement was after World War II. The two nations undertook to " respect each other's territorial integrity, [confirmed] the inviolability of the existing borders," and pledged "mutual respect, sovereign equality, a peaceful settlement of disputes, and non-use of force or its threat."


UKRAINE WILL REMAIN CLOSELY ALLIED WITH RUSSIA
Nickolai Kralev; The Washington Times, March 23, 1998, Pg. A13, HEADLINE: Ukraine won't apply to NATO, reaffirms Russia ties acs-VT99

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Hennadiy Udovenko has dampened any expectations of a policy tilt to the West by excluding the possibility that his former Soviet republic will apply for NATO membership anytime soon.

While welcoming improving relations with NATO and the United States, Mr. Udovenko said in an interview: "For the time being, Ukraine is not going to apply for NATO membership because we pursue non-bloc policy."

The minister also said that Ukraine "won't build its relations with the West at the expense of its relationship with Russia. "

Ukraine considers its relations with Moscow "very important" and tries to improve them, because in spite of old feuds " Russia remains Ukraine's biggest market," Mr. Udovenko said.
UKRAINE HAS BEEN VERY FRIENDLY TOWARDS THE WEST
Nickolai Kralev; The Washington Times, March 23, 1998, Pg. A13, HEADLINE: Ukraine won't apply to NATO, reaffirms Russia ties acs-VT99

Since it gained independence in 1991, Ukraine has moved aggressively to break with its Soviet past and improve relations with the West.

In 1994, it was one of the first East European countries to join NATO's Partnership for Peace program, created by the military alliance as a tool to prepare former Warsaw Pact members for future integration.

Last summer, Kiev agreed to let NATO exercises to be held on the Crimean peninsula, a Ukrainian area where the population is predominantly Russian. Moscow denounced the exercises saying they worked against international stability.


RUSSIAN MISSILE SALES TO GREEK CYPRIOTS WAS STABILIZING
RUSSIAN MISSILES TO GREEK CYPRIOTS ARE PURELY DEFENSIVE
Michael R. Gordon; New York Times Service, International Herald Tribune, April 29, 1998, Pg. 1, HEADLINE: Russia to Press Ahead on Cyprus Missiles , acs-VT99

The S-300 is actually a complex of systems, consisting of missiles, missile launchers and several radars.

Cyprus justified its decision to buy the S-300 by arguing that it was a purely defensive weapon that would enable the island to defend its skies against Turkish aircraft.
THREAT OF RUSSIAN MISSILES TO GREEK CYPRIOTS IS MERELY A WAY TO GET NEGOTIATIONS GOING AGAIN
New York Times News , The Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), April 29, 1998, Pg. A4, HEADLINE: RUSSIA TO SELL MISSILES TO CYPRUS, RILING U.S. , acs-VT99

Greek Cypriot officials have hinted that they might defer or cancel the purchase if serious negotiations get under way. But American officials say the sale is needlessly provocative.


RUSSIAN MISSILES TO CYPRUS HELPED PROMOTE THE PEACE
Alexander Shumilin, Russian Press Digest, April 2, 1998, HEADLINE: Greece Missile Diplomacy, SOURCE: KOMMERSANT-DAILY, p. 5 acs-VT99

Russian missiles have proved to be an effective foreign policy instrument, the daily [KOMMERSANT-DAILY ] remarks. It shall be recalled that after Cyprus concluded one year ago a contract for the supply of Russian C-300 missiles, long-time and serious competitors for the similar U.S. missiles, Patriots, Western diplomats markedly stepped up their activities in connection with the almost forgotten Cyprus problem. As a result, U.S. and West European mediators began an active search for ways to settle the Cyprus problem and official talks started on March 31 on Cyprus admission to the E.U. (Cyprus said that if its major problems were settled and the island was demilitarized, it would give up the Russian missile contract.) By all indications, Greece has decided to follow the Cyprus example. The Russian and Greek Defense Ministers announced yesterday that before April 15 Russia and the United States would submit tenders for their missile systems, following which Greece would consider them and sign contracts with the winner.

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