The Duma has refused to ratify Russian government agreements with Belarus on the withdrawal of Russian troops from that country, agreements with Georgia on the legal status of Russian troops there (signed in 1993), and agreements with Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan on the granting of Russian state credits (both signed in 1994), Segodnya reported June 17. According to Duma CIS affairs committee chairman Konstantin Zatulin, the deputies felt that the executive branch’s delay in submitting the documents for ratification meant that the Duma was being asked to rubber stamp them retroactively. Zatulin added that the deputies also disagreed with the stipulation requiring host state consent to any combat operations by Russian troops in Georgia. On the same day, the Duma adopted a bill “On international agreements,” giving itself the perogative to initiate ratification or invalidation if the executive branch delays submitting the necessary documents. Foreign affairs committee chairman Vladimir Lukin said that the bill’s language represents a compromise with Yeltsin who had rejected an earlier version.
Komi Parliamentarians Want Restored Slavic Union.