Moldovan officials told the Monitor yesterday that Russia’s Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov has withdrawn his earlier consent to the holding of a summit in Kyiv on settling the Transdniester conflict. Scheduled tentatively for November 27-28, the meeting was to have brought together Primakov (representing Russian President Boris Yeltsin), Presidents Leonid Kuchma of Ukraine and Petru Lucinschi of Moldova, OSCE Chairman-in-Office Bronislaw Geremek and Transdniester leader Igor Smirnov.
According to the Chisinau officials, Moscow declined at the last moment to face joint Ukrainian-Moldovan-OSCE insistence on the withdrawal of Russian troops from Moldova. The Russian side, moreover, wanted to eschew pressure in the run-up to the OSCE’s year-end conference in Oslo, which will take up the troop issue (Monitor interviews, November 24).
The Ukrainian initiative to host the summit and to prepare the draft documents could have launched a process whereby Ukraine would upstage Russia in the negotiations to settle the Transdniester conflict. Kuchma’s initiative had developed out of consultations among Ukraine, Moldova and the OSCE’s chairmanship (see the Monitor, November 5, 12, 19).
KEY ARMENIAN OFFICIAL FAVORS “AXIS” WITH RUSSIA AND IRAN.