Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 238

Addressing a senior staff meeting of the republic’s KGB (still so named) on the 80th anniversary of its creation, Belarusan president Alyaksandr Lukashenka remarked that "the [political] opposition’s increasingly frequent references to the KGB indicate that the organization has regained its bearings." The president described the KGB as a "guarantor of social stability in our society and of its constitutional foundations" — a reference to the presidential constitution imposed in November 1996. Lukashenka warned the gathering that Belarus is being "targeted by an enormous combination of foreign intelligence agencies," preeminently the CIA. KGB chief Uladzimir Matskevich echoed Lukashenka, declaring that foreign "enemies of the Russia-Belarus Union" seek to "paralyze and manipulate Belarus." (Radio Minsk, December 19-20)

The gist of statements on the occasion suggested that the authorities are confident that they have won, at least for the time being, the struggle against the internal opposition, but that they are worried by perceived external adversaries. Russia’s Federal Security Service and the Belarusan KGB have recently formed a joint Security Committee of the Russia-Belarus Union, in keeping with a decision of Presidents Boris Yeltsin and Lukashenka (Belorusskaya delovaya gazeta, no. 74, 1997)

Armenia’s Foreign Ministry Appears to Dissent from President’s Position on Karabakh.