Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 10

In his first meeting with journalists, Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov suggested that Moscow would pursue an activist foreign policy commensurate with Russia’s status as a great power. He claimed Moscow had no desire to resuscitate the Soviet Union and said relations with the CIS states were a priority for Moscow. "Their sovereignty is irreversible, but this does not rule out the development of reintegration tendencies in the economic sphere," he said. Primakov noted that his first trip as Foreign Minister will be in the CIS. He listed an "equitable" partnership with the West among Moscow’s priorities, but emphasized that he would pursue a diversified strategy that encompassed Russia’s national interests throughout the world and the CIS.

Primakov strongly intimated that violation of the ABM treaty by the United States would lead the Russian parliament to reject ratification of the START-2 treaty. Referring to Russia’s territorial dispute with Japan, Primakov suggested that Moscow remains unwilling to trade the return of any of the Kurile islands to Japan for economic aid from Tokyo. Finally, Primakov said resolution of regional crises, particular those along Russia’s southern border and those in the Balkans, was among Moscow’s highest priorities. (5)

Security Advisor Underscores Domestic Weaknesses.