Affirmative section consultation and cooperation through dialogue networks



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"There's an awful lot of instant conventional wisdom that he's a transitional figure," Talbott said. "The fact that he's inexperienced and unseasoned in the Soviet mind-set is not all bad, to put it mildly." Kiriyenko, he went on, "could be on the cutting edge of the passing of the torch from one generation to another."
KIRIYENKO IS “GOOD NEWS” FOR USA-RUSSIA RELATIONS
JOHN STEINBRUNER and CLIFFORD GADDY, Brookings Institution's foreign policy studies program, Los Angeles Times, May 3, 1998, Part M; Page 5; HEADLINE: THE BEAR HAS LOST ITS ROAR // acs-VT99

President Clinton last week extended a warm welcome to new Russian Prime Minister Sergei V. Kiriyenko, calling his confirmation "good news" for Russia and the United States.


KIRIYENKO AS PRIME MINISTER SIGNALS NO POLICY CHANGES
Vasily Romantsov, TASS, April 28, 1998, HEADLINE: USA sees no changes in Russia's position: spokesman , acs-VT99

A spokesman for the US State Department said on Tuesday that the USA saw no changes in position of the Russian government following the appointment of Sergei Kiriyenko as country's new prime minister.

James Foley said the main direction in Russia's foreign policy is cooperation with the United States and other western countries. According to him, the USA is optimistic about prospects of cooperation with Russia on a number of issues, including the ratification of the START-2 treaty.
KIRIYENKO FACES SERIOUS CHALLENGES, BUT WILL CONTINUE PREVIOUS POLICIES
ARIEL COHEN, PH.D., AND EVGUENII VOLK, Heritage Foundation,, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 1, HEADLINE: YELTSIN'S GAMBIT: POLITICAL CRISIS IN MOSCOW acs-VT99

Kirienko will need a lot of luck and hard work to improve Russia's economic performance and make democracy and the free-market economy more secure. One of his key challenges will be achieving transparency in economic decision making, both in the government and in corporate boardrooms -- especially important in view of the lessons drawn from the economic crisis in Asia. It is imperative to achieve the rule of law to boost the confidence of Russians in the workings of free markets and to attract a steady flow of foreign investment. The United States should wish Kirienko well and look for ways to assist him as he formulates his agenda. He may be a moderating influence in the Washington-Moscow nexus. As Kirienko manages the economic dimension of ties between the United States and Russia, he is likely to continue the policies of his predecessor.


YELTSIN SHAKES UP HIS GOVERNMENT BECAUSE THEY NEED TO BE SHAKEN UP
ARIEL COHEN, PH.D., AND EVGUENII VOLK, Heritage Foundation,, Heritage Foundation Reports, April 6, 1998; Pg. 1, HEADLINE: YELTSIN'S GAMBIT: POLITICAL CRISIS IN MOSCOW acs-VT99

There is also the "Yeltsin legacy" explanation for the shakeup. Yeltsin was not happy with the pace and performance of economic reform. Both the Land Code and Tax Code are stalled in the legislative pipeline. Salaries have not been paid on time. Yeltsin wants to leave Russia more prosperous and stable than it was when he received it from the bankrupt communist rule in 1992. He may feel that he needs a new team of competent technocrats to do the job.


YELTSIN’S PRESIDENCY HAS BEEN A DISASTER
YELTSIN’S POLICIES HAVE BEEN A DISASTER AS THE COUNTRY COLLAPSES
Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), December 14, 1997, Pg. 41A, HEADLINE: For the change Russia needs, Yeltsin regime must leave power acs-VT99

The policies of Boris Yeltsin's regime have turned out to be disastrous. Industrial decline has surpassed any ever suffered in peacetime by a civilized country. The plight of the population remains grave. Attempts by the International Monetary Fund, the United States and Europe to aid Russia's weakening economy have been too feeble.

Officialdom, largely corrupt, holds sway over the country. The criminalization of society has reached dangerous proportions. The citizens' personal safety and the security of their property are under constant threat, as are their rights and freedoms.
CURRENT REGIME IS NOT CAPABLE OF RATIONALLY DIRECTING RUSSIA’S FUTURE
Mikhail Gorbachev, former leader of the Soviet Union, Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN), December 14, 1997, Pg. 41A, HEADLINE: For the change Russia needs, Yeltsin regime must leave power acs-VT99

Our mortality rate exceeds the birth rate by a factor of 1.6. A crass mass culture is destroying national and spiritual values. The federal power structures are decayed and helpless. The defense establishment is in tatters.

The current regime has shown it is not the least bit capable of rationally directing Russia's development.
YELTSIN HAS AN ALCOHOL PROBLEM
EDITORIAL; The Press (Christchurch). March 27, 1998; Pg. 4; HEADLINE: Upheaval in Moscow , acs-VT99

In the past, his clownish antics have led critics to underestimate his powers of survival. For example, he arrived at a police station soaking wet after falling into a river in 1989. In 1994, he failed to emerge from his plane to meet then prime minister of Ireland, Albert Reynolds, at Shannon airport. At that time, the president was widely reported to have an alcohol problem.


YELTSIN’S RECENT BEHAVIOR THREATENS THE STABILITY OF RUSSIA
The New York Times Editorial, International Herald Tribune, March 25, 1998, Pg. 10, HEADLINE: No Quick Fixes acs-VT99

Mr. Yeltsin's achievements over the years have been impressive, but his increasingly mercurial leadership, marked by erratic pronouncements, frequent health crises and sudden removal of top aides, now threatens to undermine Russia's political stability and the confidence of foreign governments and investors.


YELTSIN'S REGIME WILL QUICKLY PASS AND CANNOT SUCCEED
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 81 acs-VT99

The regime of the "Yeltsinoids" is a brief pass ing episode in the life of Russia. Deprived of any significant intellec tual resources, it cannot pursue an intelligent policy, except for the Kremlin's court intrigues and the mercenary interests of the corrupt bureaucracy.


YELTSIN IS NOT MENTALLY ABLE TO RUN RUSSIA
STRATEGIC ADVISORS ADMIT THAST YELTSIN CANNOT THINK CLEARLY
Fred Coleman, USA TODAY, April 6, 1998, Pg. 1A, HEADLINE: Who's running Russia? Even aides say he works few hours, lacks focus acs-VT99

"I'm concerned about the president's physical and mental weakness, especially the mental weakness," Andrei Piontkovsky, director of the Strategic Studies center, an independent think tank, said in an interview. The incoherence of Yeltsin's statements, he says, is "going from bad to worse" and "I think it's past the point of no return."


YELTSIN ONLY WORKS A FEW HOURS A DAY AND HIS LOGICAL MIND IS ALMOST GONE
Fred Coleman, USA TODAY, April 6, 1998, Pg. 1A, HEADLINE: Who's running Russia? Even aides say he works few hours, lacks focus acs-VT99

Even when Yeltsin is officially said to be at work -- either in the Kremlin or more often at a country home outside Moscow -- his schedule has to be limited for health reasons, aides say.

Two advisers who occasionally see Yeltsin and who spoke separately with USA TODAY on condition of anonymity, say the president can now work a maximum of three to four hours a day. They also say he often suffers from memory lapses, loss of concentration and difficulty in understanding material presented to him.
EVEN YELTSIN’S SUPPORTERS ADMIT HE CAN’T RUN THE COUNTRY
Fred Coleman, USA TODAY, April 6, 1998, Pg. 1A, HEADLINE: Who's running Russia? Even aides say he works few hours, lacks focus acs-VT99

"The president's health prevents him from doing practical political work every day," a key adviser, Boris Berezovsky, recently told reporters.

Berezovsky, the oil and media tycoon who financed Yeltsin's re-election in 1996, is one of the few people who can still see the Russian president on a daily basis and make that kind of statement with authority.
YELTSIN IS IN DECLINE AND HAS VERY LOOSE CONTROL OVER RUSSIA
The Economist, February 14, 1998, ]SECTION: World Politics and Current Affairs; EUROPE, Pg. 49. HEADLINE: Russia's part-time president\\jan]VT99

President Boris Yeltsin is in decline. Russia is drifting with him AN AIR of fin-de-r(grave)egne hangs over Russia, for all that President Boris Yeltsin's second term has run less than half its course. His minions hint that he may seek a third term. If so, Russia could face six more years' stagnation, not two. Physical decay accounts for much of the problem. Mr Yeltsin, 67 this month, was not looking too bad by recent standards during his brief visit to Italy this week. But he has been a fugitive presence in the Kremlin since his heart by-pass operation in November 1996. He communicates with the country almost exclusively through recorded television clips and scripted radio broadcasts. His occasional public appearances yield moments of worrying eccentricity. His powers of concentration appear to be failing him.


YELTSIN HAS LOST ALL CONCEPT OF REALITY AND HIS POLICY DECISIONS ARE BEING DICTATED BY HIS ADIVSORS. THEY WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR HIS WORLD WAR III COMMENTS
Current Digest of the Post-Soviet Press, January 7, 1998 [SECTION: Vol. XLIX, No. 49; Pg. 8 HEADLINE: In Sweden, 'Tired' Yeltsin Offers Major Arms Cuts\\jan]VT99

The Russian opposition has suggested its own theory of why the "Stockholm sensations" came out. It boils down to the following: The head of state has completely lost all concept of reality and is being guided by some not very professional "promptings" from his inner circle. Russian Federation Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov blames everything on the President's advisers, who did an outrageously bad job of preparing for the visit. Zyuganov advises the President to replace them with more qualified specialists, who, apparently, should be sought in the ranks of the Communist Party. The panicky mood has also spread to the Duma as a whole: The Deputies summoned the Mnister of Defense to yesterday evening's meeting of the chamber with the aim of getting some explanations from him. But after Boris Yeltsin's unexpected appearance in the Duma [see pp. 1-3 of this issue], a draft resolution prepared by [Lev] Rokhlin and [Viktor] Ilyukhin, Chairmen of the Committees on Defense and Security, in which the President's statements in Sweden were termed "unconstitutional and populist," was not even put to a vote....


STAGE MANAGED MEDIA SHOWS OF YELTSIN ARE NO LONGER CONVINCING
Fred Coleman, USA TODAY, April 6, 1998, Pg. 1A, HEADLINE: Who's running Russia? Even aides say he works few hours, lacks focus acs-VT99

Russian and Western analysts in Moscow note that attempts to hide Yeltsin's condition with stage-managed television appearances are no longer convincing. Typically the Russian leader is shown making a prepared statement of 20 seconds or so duration.

But it has been more than a year, these analysts say, since Russian television has shown Yeltsin engaged in an extended conversation, demonstrating that he understands what is said and can respond coherently.
CLINTON’S RUSSIA POLICY HAS DWINDLED DOWN TO A YELTSIN DEATH WATCH
EDITORIAL, Sacramento Bee, December 27, 1997, Pg. B7, HEADLINE: RELYING ON A MORTAL YELTSIN MAKES BAD POLICY acs-VT99

President Clinton's Russia policy, which began with bold strokes and strategic vision of an active partnership, has dwindled into wishful thinking about Yeltsin's hospital charts and what the Russian president will do now that he has recovered from his latest emergency hospitalization for a "cold."


YELTSIN'S HEALTH SITUATION MEANS THAT NEW POLICIES MUST BE INITIATED BY THE USA
F. Stephen Larrabee & Theodore Karasik, National Defense Research Institute, 1997; FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY DECISIONMAKING UNDER YELTSIN, p. 51 , acs-VT99

This has several implications for U.S. policy. First, the uncertainty surrounding Yeltsin's health means that the burden of creative thinking in U.S.-Russian relations will fall on the United States. If there are new initiatives designed to break the current deadlock, they will have to come from Washington not Moscow.


YELTSIN HAS OPERATED AS A DICTATOR, NOT AS A DEMOCRAT
YELTSIN OPERATES AS A DICTATOR OUT OF CONTROL
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 8 acs-VT99

Today the president is not subject to any control and not accountable to anybody. The tsars were at least afraid of God, but Yeltsin is not afraid even of God. He plays the role of a judge, a prosecutor, and a benefactor. He appoints and fires anyone he pleases, and he is not held liable for anything.


YELTSIN'S APPROVAL RATING 3 PERCENT
BOB PACKWOOD, March 2, 1998 [Journal of Commerce. SECTION: EDITORIAL/OPINION; Pg. 7A. HEADLINE: Time is ripe for US-Russia free trade\\jan]VT99

With an approval rating, of 3 percent in one recent poll, Russian President Boris Yeltsin's domestic popularity has fared about as well as the Russian economy. Since 1990, the former superpower's economic output has shrunk by 43 percent, compared with a "mere" 25 percent in the United States during the Great Depression.


YELTSIN GOVERNMENT HAS ACTED TO PROTECT ITS POWER, NOT PROMOTE DEMOCRATIC REFORMS
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

* Democratic reform within Russia: Yeltsin's tendency to do only those things that serve to protect his power has proven the biggest obstacle to such reform, but two additional blows against democratic reform have been struck by the Yeltsin government: first, the disastrous military operation in the separatist region of Chechnya -- begun without parliamentary approval and conducted without regard to human rights or human life -- and second, the extent to which the Yeltsin administration manipulated the media and the government's budget to gain a victory in the 1996 presidential elections.


YELTSIN ACTS TO KEEP BLAME AWAY FROM HIMSELF
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

They view it as a dramatic gesture by a theatrical politician given to unvarnished attempts to shift blame for the country's every woe away from himself. And it also appears to be an attempt by Yeltsin to influence the political jockeying now under way for the 2000 presidential election campaign, which he is entertaining entering even though he may be prohibited by law from a third term.


REAL POWER EXISTS IN YELTSIN'S FRIENDS, NOT IN PARLIAMENT
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 9 acs-VT99

The government is not controlled by the legislature. Real power is concentrated in the hands of those around Yeltsin. This is the "second government," which issues decrees, writes directives, engages in political manipulations, and arbitrarily disbands, forbids, or uses force.


YELTSIN IS AN AMERICAN PUPPET
USA SUPPORT HAS ALLOWED YELTSIN TO CREATE A NATION OF ONE MAN RULE
Fred Coleman, USA TODAY, April 6, 1998, Pg. 1A, HEADLINE: Who's running Russia? Even aides say he works few hours, lacks focus acs-VT99

Yavlinsky thinks American support helped Yeltsin turn post-communist Russia into a country of one-man rule with a new constitution giving most power to the president.

"The entire social and political power base is Yeltsin and only Yeltsin," Yavlinsky said. "This isn't a democracy. It's not a civil society. It's Byzantium."
YELTSIN IS AN AMERICAN PUPPET
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 80 acs-VT99

But some more sophisticated readers will remark: "It is not that simple. Yeltsin and company could never have stayed in power after all they have done to Russia were it not for the powerful and extensive support of the West. Strictly speaking, Yeltsin can hardly be considered an independent political figure. He is a puppet whose strings are being pulled from across the ocean. America, our main geopolitical opponent, has become the indisputable world leader. America is the real source of hostile influence."


AMERICA IS A PUPPET OF INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS INTERESTS
Gennady Zyuganov, chairman Communist Party of Russia, member of parliament, 1997; MY RUSSIA: a political autobiography, p. 80 acs-VT99

The most thoughtful readers may add further arguments: "But even & United States is not quite independent. Look more closely. This is not a traditional state but an overgrown commercial-industrial corporation. As such, it has no national interests but hides under this term the interests of an international financial oligarchy. This worldwide corporation uses the political, military, and economic power of America as an instrument to achieve mercenary interests and purposes. The cosmopolitan elite of international capital is the real behind-the-scenes orchestrator of Russia's troubles."


USA POLICIES ABOUT THE RUSSIAN MAFIA ARE INADEQUATE AND DANGEROUIS
RUSSIA FACES UNLIMITED CRIMINALIZATION OF ITS SOCIETY AND THE USA IGNORES THIS REALITY
Arnaud de Borchgrave; The Washington Times, July 25, 1997, Pg. A19, HEADLINE: Ignoring Russia's crisis of crime , acs-VT99

Even Yuri Luzkhov, the powerful mayor of Moscow and a candidate to succeed President Boris Yeltsin in 2000, who is not exactly a paragon of probity, said in a recent interview that Russia now faces "unlimited criminalization of the economy and of the government itself." But the Clinton foreign policy team has adopted the ungainly posture of the proverbial ostrich and cannot see that Russia is now controlled by a semi-criminal oligarchy, a small circle of financiers and those in government who do their bidding.


WHEN THE USA IGNORES THE PROBLEM OF ORGANIZED CRIME IN RUSSIA IT ONLY ENCOURAGES ITS EXPANSION
Arnaud de Borchgrave; The Washington Times, July 25, 1997, Pg. A19, HEADLINE: Ignoring Russia's crisis of crime , acs-VT99

At the G-8 (G-7 plus Russia) summit in Denver last month, President Clinton said that if Russia continues on its present course "we will see more good things ahead." Did the president inadvertently give Russia's organized crime syndicates a green light? Knowledgeable Russian voices are saying that the United States, by not facing facts about today's Russia, is creating the climate for the further criminalization of the state.


USA FBI DIRECTOR’S STATEMENT THAT THE RUSSIAN MAFIA IS NOT A THREAT LACKS CREDABILITY
Reuben Johnson, The Moscow Times, December 3, 1997, HEADLINE: U.S. Shirks 'Tough Love' acs-VT99

Overnight total reversals of one's previous position or beliefs tend to be the products of either profound religious experiences, or acts of political expediency that sacrifice truth for the pursuit of some other agenda.

Since there is no gospel according to Russian Interior Minister Anatoly Kulikov, one has to assume that FBI Director Louis Freeh's recent statement here in Moscow that the Russian mafia is no longer a threat in the United States - and that there is no connection to their activities and smuggling of arms and nuclear materials - can be attributed to the latter impulse.
THE USA NEEDS TO RECOGNIZE THE RUSSIAN MAFIA AS A SERIOUS THREAT TO ITS NATIONAL SECURITY
Reuben Johnson, The Moscow Times, December 3, 1997, HEADLINE: U.S. Shirks 'Tough Love' acs-VT99

Their study is prefaced by a number of unambiguous and resolute statements as to why the United States should be concerned and publicly consistent about the issue of the Russian mafia. One of the key findings is that "Russian organized crime constitutes a direct threat to the national security interests of the U.S." The study further recommends strongly that the problem "should receive public recognition from the president of the United States as a national security threat."


IT IS A GREAT ERROR TO DISMISS THE POTENTIAL THREAT OF RUSSIAN ORGANIZED CRIME
Reuben Johnson, The Moscow Times, December 3, 1997, HEADLINE: U.S. Shirks 'Tough Love' acs-VT99

The idea that Russian organized crime is no longer anything to be worried about is utterly comical. In Washington, the well-known and highly respected Center for Strategic and International Studies, or CSIS, has dedicated months of investigation to this issue and recently published a 90-page study on the threat posed to U.S. national security by Russian organized crime.


FUSSING OVER IRAN DISTRACTS US FROM THE REAL ISSUE -- THE RUSSIAN MAFIA
Jonathan Power, The Baltimore Sun, October 14, 1997, Pg. 11A, HEADLINE: Threat of the Russian nuclear mafia acs-VT99

The fuss over Iran -- the major investment by the French oil company, Total, and the alleged indirect support of Russia for Iran's nuclear bomb program -- is taking our eyes off the real ball.

It was the same three years ago when Central Intelligence Agency leaks about North Korea's bomb ambitions were part of an effort to steamroller President Clinton into ordering the bombing of North Korea's nuclear installations.

The real issue in terms of imminent danger, both then and now, is the Russian mafia.


ORGANIZED CRIME IN RUSSIA IS UNIQUE AND EXPLAINABLE -- NOT AS MUCH OF A THREAT AS MANY BELIEVE
POWERFUL SOCIAL FORCES MOVE RUSSIA AWAY FROM THE CORPORATIST CRIMINAL STATE
Grigory Yavlinsky; Russian economist and the leader of Yabloko, a democratic, reformist political party, Foreign Affairs, May, 1998 / June, 1998; Pg. 67, HEADLINE: Russia's Phony Capitalism acs-VT99

THE RUSSIAN economy today shows signs of evolution toward Western-style capitalism on the one hand and the consolidation of corporatist, criminal-style capitalism on the other. Western conventional wisdom emphasizes the former and thus sees a Russia moving steadily toward a market economy. Indeed, Russia has managed to lower inflation and, within reasonable limits, stabilize its currency. Moscow is a boomtown. Some of the newly established and privatized corporations that operate with international mentalities and ambitions are making their way to the top. Certain regions of the country have received favorable international credit ratings, and a handful of Russian companies have held successful international bond issues. Young people are now ready to adapt to the new market system and steer clear of crime as the country develops new rules. The International Monetary Fund, while occasionally delaying tranches of its $ 10 billion loan because of poor tax collection, always seems to reinstate them after promises by senior Russian officials to do better. All this seemingly points toward the path of a normalized Western market economy.


UNDERGROUND "GRAY ZONES" ARE ESSENTIAL FOR EVENTUAL STABLE SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Victor Sergeyev, Moscow State Institute for International Relations, 1998; THE WILD EAST: Crime and lawlessness in post-communist Russia, p. 53 , acs-VT99

We hypothesize that hierarchical social networks in "gray zones" play a special role in the formation of collectively stable strategies, since, for instance, in playing the dilemma game it is necessary somehow to coordinate the first moves of the participants; and only then, after the participants make sure that cooperation is possible, does the culture of cooperative behavior evolve.

In previous studies of revolutions and transition societies, the phenomenon described above received too little attention. There may have been a prejudice against explaining historical events in terms of "conspiracy theories." However, conspiracies are not the essence of the matter here. What is important is that in " gray zones" a natural process of self-organization must and does evolve, and this process often includes diverse provocations, treachery, and meanness.

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