Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 165

The Council of Border Troops’ Commanders of CIS Member Countries met on September 5 in Kyrgyzstan under the chairmanship of Russia Gen. Andrei Nikolaev. The session, which marked five years since the Council’s establishment, was supposed to consider a set of draft agreements and programs presented by Nikolaev on: creating a "single border protection space" in the CIS; cooperation among CIS countries for "joint protection of CIS borders;" creating "CIS border troops," and using them in "crises on CIS external borders."

Nikolaev had provided some specifics in a September 1 address at Russia’s Border Troops Academy. Between now and 2001, he said, Russia will seek to station its border troops in all the CIS countries. It would introduce those troops in Ukraine, Moldova, Azerbaijan, and Uzbekistan — countries in which no Russian border troops are stationed at present, and would enlarge the contingents already stationed in Georgia, Armenia, and Tajikistan. During a second stage, from 2001 to 2005, Moscow envisions the creation of three Russian-led theater commands of the border troops: "Western" in Kyiv; "Transcaucasian" in Tbilisi; and "Southern" in Tashkent. (Itar-Tass, September 1-4)

Those proposals appeared to make little headway at the September 5 session, which ended after only one day instead of the scheduled two. Attendance was incomplete, and the participants returned the main documents for "further work" — the usual CIS synonym for indefinitely postponing an action. An unspecified "conceptual agreement" was reported with regard to the control of border-crossing points on borders between CIS and non-CIS countries. The commanders — or, more likely, some of them — approved a request to the CIS countries’ leaders to prolong the Russian troops’ mandate in Tajikistan. (Russian agencies, September 5-6)

Multilateral Summit in Vilnius.