DEFENSE MINISTERS’ COUNCIL THINNING OUT.
Publication: Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 36
Russian diplomatic and military officials disclosed on February 20 that at least five CIS countries propose eliminating the CIS Council of Defense Ministers (CDM) because it is “unnecessary.” The Moscow officials named Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan as the countries behind the proposal. The disclosure appears designed to prepare the Russian public for the withdrawal of several countries from the CDM, possibly at the upcoming CIS summit.
The CIS Executive Secretariat chose to “neither confirm nor deny” the information (Itar-Tass, February 20). It invalidates Executive Secretary Boris Berezovsky’s claims that his plan to reorganize the CIS has been accepted by all the countries in advance of the summit. Berezovsky’s proposals would actually enlarge the powers of the CDM and subordinate it–along with other military and security bodies–directly to Berezovsky in his sought-after capacity as operational chief of CIS structures. The CIS summit, due last October, has since been postponed from month to month and is now tentatively scheduled for March.
PRIMAKOV KEEPS RISING IN LUKASHENKA’S ESTIMATION.