Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 228

Moscow mayor and presumed presidential aspirant Yury Luzhkov, on December 5 in Minsk, named First Deputy Prime Minister Anatoly Chubais as the first and foremost "enemy of Russia-Belarus integration." Luzhkov further listed business magnate Boris Berezovsky — until recently deputy head of Russia’s Security Council — and the prominent economic reformer Yegor Gaidar as "enemies" of the Russia-Belarus Union. According to Luzhkov, those opponents "may be acting in fulfillment of someone’s instructions" — a reference to external forces. By contrast, Luzhkov credited Russian president Boris Yeltsin as "the only one in the Russian leadership to actively promote the Russia-Belarus Union." By the same token, "my own friendship with President Lukashenka is one of the achievements of my life," Luzhkov declared. He brought with him to Minsk major industrial orders for Belarusan motor vehicle and machine-building plants. (Russian agencies, Russian TV, December 5)

The previous day, Lukashenka had blamed "slow movement" in Russia-Belarus integration on intrigues by "CIA agents and Belarusan nationalists" who influence "Yeltsin’s entourage." "They isolate Yeltsin and deceive him into believing that Lukashenka seeks Russia’s presidency," Lukashenka told a news conference. He felt unrewarded for having been — he stressed — the sole president to support Yeltsin against general criticism at the CIS summit. "Unity with Russia is the main thrust of Lukashenka’s policy," Lukashenka said. (Russian agencies, December 4)

Kuchma Suggests Revitalizing Oil Refineries with Russian Capital.