The Russian Duma yesterday adopted by a vote of 285 to 5 a resolution criticizing as "inappropriate and biased" most CIS member countries’ reactions to its March 15 resolution which invalidated the dissolution of the USSR. Yesterday’s resolution singled out for criticism statements issued by the presidents of Georgia, Uzbekistan, Armenia, and Moldova, as well as by the parliament of Azerbaijan for interpreting the Duma resolution as "some kind of threat from Russia." The Duma reaffirmed that it had only meant to "lay a proper legal foundation for a gradual restoration of the state unity of the peoples who used to comprise the USSR." The statement also claimed credit for the Duma having inspired President Boris Yeltsin to sign the March 29 "deeper integration" agreement with Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan, and the April 2 agreement forming a Russia-Belarus SSR. (Itar-Tass, April 10)
Seen from the standpoint of political tactics, the Duma appears to have singled out for criticism four countries (with the exception of Uzbekistan) whose territorial integrity and national security depend to an important degree on Russian policy. Seen in broader perspective, the Duma statement illustrates the narrowing of differences between Yeltsin and his hard-line opponents with regard to policies in the "near abroad" during the presidential election year.
Moldovan Confrontation Unabated.