Except for the mercurial president of Belarus (whose response alluded to old fears of Poland) , none of the CIS countries is known to have endorsed Boris Yeltsin’s September 8 call to form a CIS political-military bloc if NATO expands, and some have explicitly turned the idea down. Most presidents have withheld personal comment, delegating the official reactions to their subordinates. Foreign Ministers Hennady Udovenko of Ukraine, Mihai Popov of Moldova, and Boris Shikhmuradov of Turkmenistan have all rejected the idea of a CIS bloc by referring to their respective countries’ self-assumed obligations of neutrality (see Monitor, September 12). Belarus Supreme Soviet chairman Mecislau Hrib did so as well, challenging his president. (13) Kyrgyzstan’s presidential foreign policy adviser Ishenbai Abdurazakov in an equidistant statement hoped that "Russia and NATO will settle their disagreements…ruling out the revival of blocs." (14) Kazakhstan’s president Nursultan Nazarbayev was less than equidistant in advising all concerned that "the UN resolutions should be complied with" (15) even as Russia was sharply questioning them. The other countries appear to have ignored Yeltsin’s call.
Some Countries Will Miss CFE Deadline