Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennady Tarasov yesterday lambasted recent U.S. congressional resolutions on promoting stability in the Baltic region, supporting Ukraine’s independence, and calling for the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova. Tarasov described the three resolutions as "prejudiced and unfriendly toward Russia," and condemned "congressional circles which seek to revive the myth about Russian hegemonism, …feeling entitled to pass judgment on the situation in countries of the former USSR and even to recommend how they should manage their relations with each other. We do not accept any interference in our relations with neighboring countries." Tarasov also said that "to play a constructive role in U.S.-Russian relations, Congress should revise its attitude toward CIS integration." (Itar-Tass, Interfax, October 22)
A textbook reaffirmation of Moscow’s sphere-of-influence concept for Eastern Europe, Tarasov’s statement recalls post-World War II pronouncements that similarly ruled out any "outside interference" in the then-USSR’s relations with countries in the region. Tarasov’s statement also echoes Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov’s and other Russian officials’ recent claims that U.S. and, generally, Western attitudes toward Russian-led "integration" of the CIS are an important factor in determining whether Russia’s relations with the West will be friendly or not.
CIS Prime Ministers’ Meeting Unproductive.