Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 47

Ina speech to Russian ambassadors to the 11 other CIS countries,Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev said that he and BorisYeltsin believe that "no task of Russian diplomacy is moreimportant than strengthening the CIS," Russian media reportedJuly 6. The organization is meant "not merely for a civilizeddivorce, but for a successful start toward gathering togethermost countries of the former Soviet Union." While agreeingthat Moscow should deny the CIS members "unjustified aidand unrecoverable loans," Kozyrev argued that such contributionswere political instruments: "Not everything should be reducedto mathematics… Of course we should account for all loans andaid, but the figures must not make us forget about our long-terminterests. Sooner or later all this will pay off." Kozyrevidentified as Moscow’s priorities in the region: protecting Russianand CIS "external borders," securing "the positionof the Russian-speaking population, "and organizing the CIScollective security system "which is far from completion."He rejected as "utterly groundless" suggestions thatsuch steps reflected Moscow’s "alleged imperial ambitions."

…and for Establishing Military Bases in Them.