Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 220

Russian Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov announced after the meeting of CIS countries’ prime ministers (see below) that the presidents’ meeting is being rescheduled from December to January. On the same day, however, Moscow confirmed that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will meet with Belarusan President Alyaksandr Lukashenka in December (Itar-Tass, November 26). This suggests that Yeltsin’s illness might not be the main cause of the decision to postpone the CIS summit yet again. The presidents were due to have met in the fall.

Georgian Foreign Minister Irakly Menagarishvili had recently predicted a further postponement of the summit “owing not only to Yeltsin’s condition, but also to the lack of a common position regarding CIS reforms” (Itar-Tass, October 28). Those two factors would seem to render the January summit date as uncertain as the dates which were announced previously and ultimately not kept. The prime ministers’ November 25 meeting may therefore have been the sole high-level CIS meeting in a long stretch of time and thus a milestone along the organization’s downward path.