Russian president Boris Yeltsin (or his office acting in his name) and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin openly endorsed Armenian president Levon Ter-Petrosian for reelection in yesterday’s presidential balloting. In messages aired by Armenian state media on election eve, the two Russian leaders wished Ter-Petrosian success, praising his qualities as a national leader and his contribution to close Armenian-Russian relations, regional security, and CIS integration. (Itar-Tass, Interfax, September 20 through 22. See Monitor, September 20, for an election preview)
Ter-Petrosian’s three competitors, including his main challenger, Vazgen Manukian, all favor cooperation with Russia at least as much as Ter-Petrosian does, but their views on foreign and security policies are considered less predictable that Ter-Petrosian’s. Moreover, the Kremlin owes a debt of gratitude — alluded to in the weekend statements — to the Armenian president for having taken the lead among the presidents of CIS countries in endorsing Yeltsin for reelection.
Georgia’s Forgotten Republic Elects Legislature.