Kremlin foreign policy coordinator Sergei Yastrzhembsky announced yesterday that First Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Pastukhov and CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovsky will jointly undertake a shuttle mediation between Tbilisi and Abkhazia shortly. Pastukhov and Berezovsky have agreed to henceforth “coordinate” their efforts, according to Yastrzhembsky. A meeting between President Boris Yeltsin and Berezovsky in the Kremlin yesterday produced that solution. (Itar-Tass, June 18)
The decision evidently aims to end or at least curb the strife that erupted in Moscow after Berezovsky was appointed to his CIS post and decided to involve himself in conflict resolution, starting with Abkhazia. Yesterday’s apparent compromise amounts to a setback for Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who has publicly insisted that conflict resolution is his ministry’s exclusive prerogative.
Pastukhov, responsible for CIS affairs including security and conflict resolution, personifies the policy of using Abkhazia as a lever to blackmail Georgia. Almost any mediator should be an improvement over Pastukhov. However, Berezovsky is poorly placed to introduce any real improvement. He has no government status and no apparatus, shifts among potentially conflicting interests, and is politically vulnerable in Russia.
The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at [email protected], by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions