As predicted (see the Monitor, January 22), CIS Executive Secretary Boris Berezovsky’s plan to create a CIS security service is being blocked in Moscow itself, even before it officially reaches the CIS leaders. The plan would have spawned a CIS “antiterrorist” and “counterintelligence” apparatus directly subordinated to the CIS Executive Secretariat. The First Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Security Service, Colonel-General Valentin Sobolev, practically shot down the scheme by pointing out that Russian special services and those of CIS countries do not support it, and that the CIS heads of state would withhold their consent (Russian agencies, January 22).
Berezovsky promoted this plan to circumvent the CIS Interstate Forum, which is officially mandated to reorganize CIS bodies. The Forum has already rejected a series of Berezovsky proposals designed to concentrate powers in the CIS Executive Secretariat. In those discussions, most elements in the Russian government joined forces with the CIS countries’ governments to frustrate Berezovsky’s plans (see the Monitor, November 30, December 1, 1998; and Fortnight in Review, December 4, 1998). That tactical alliance seems to have functioned again in this latest case.
THE COMPLICATED POLITICS OF LATVIA’S DEFENSE BUDGET.