Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 138

Russian foreign minister Andrei Kozyrev yesterday told a gathering of World War II veterans that the Nuremberg trials after that war must serve as a warning to those who "cherish ideas of fascism, militarism, or discrimination against ethnic minorities." Claiming that he was not drawing a "direct analogy" to the newly independent states, Kozyrev went on to imply just such an analogy by pointing in this context to "the dangers of repressing ethnic minorities in some countries in the former USSR’s territory," particularly ethnic Russians "who are being subjected to more or less open pressure or discrimination in several countries." (11)

Lt. General (ret.) Aleksandr Lebed preceded Kozyrev in warning of "another Nuremberg." Russia’s current election campaign has tempted some candidates to exploit the issue of Russians in the "near abroad," but not nearly to the extent that had been predicted. Kozyrev himself is running for a seat in the Duma, and his statement looks like a rhetorical overture to hard-line voters. But Kozyrev and his ministry have long disseminated unsubstantiated accusations that newly independent states oppress their Russian populations, and have construed the halting of russification processes in these states as discrimination against Russians.

Perry in the Baltics.