Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 54

which are not members of the CIS, are aware that the Russian Duma action potentially targets all former Soviet republics. Estonian prime minister Siim Kalas yesterday expressed serious concern over the Duma action because "it reflected Russia’s prevailing political trends, despite the Russian government’s attempts to present it as a propaganda stunt. The idea of restoring the Soviet Union had until now been seen as irrelevant and confined to nostalgic extremists. Once the Duma passed these resolutions, sectarianism has ascended to a political level and is worrying," Kallas commented. Lithuanian prime minister Mindaugas Stankevicius in turn said that his country is following the Duma’s actions with concern because they "fail to contribute to good-neighborly relations." Spokesmen for the Estonian and Latvian Foreign Ministries said that the Duma action was irrelevant to their countries, which had been unlawfully incorporated in the USSR, never ceased being independent de jure, and did not sign the Belovezhye agreements. (BNS, March 15-18)