The presidents of four Central Asian countries, accompanied by their defense and security ministers, are meeting with Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and other top Russian officials in Kazakhstan’s capital Almaty today. The summit, initiated by Russia’s hospitalized president (or in his name), will review the military and political situation in the region following the Taliban movement’s victory in Afghanistan.
The Russian and Central Asian governments differ both among and within themselves in assessing developments in Afghanistan. In Moscow, security chief Aleksandr Lebed has warned of a Taliban push into Central Asia and called for drawing a line of resistance against "Islamic Fundamentalism" inside northern Afghanistan. Lebed urges propping up Afghanistan’s runaway president, Burhanuddin Rabbani, and providing Russian support for ethnic Uzbek and ethnic Tajik forces commanded by Abdul Rashid Dostum and Ahmad Shah-Masood, respectively. Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov has sought to defuse Lebed’s alarmist view and called for exploring a modus vivendi with the Pushtun-based Taliban. Col. Gen. Boris Gromov, the last commander of Soviet forces in Afghanistan, has discounted the notion that the Taliban have the strength to push into Central Asia.
The Monitor is a publication of the Jamestown Foundation. It is researched and written under the direction of senior analysts Jonas Bernstein, Vladimir Socor, Stephen Foye, and analysts Ilya Malyakin, Oleg Varfolomeyev and Ilias Bogatyrev. If you have any questions regarding the content of the Monitor, please contact the foundation. If you would like information on subscribing to the Monitor, or have any comments, suggestions or questions, please contact us by e-mail at email@example.com, by fax at 301-562-8021, or by postal mail at The Jamestown Foundation, 4516 43rd Street NW, Washington DC 20016. Unauthorized reproduction or redistribution of the Monitor is strictly prohibited by law. Copyright (c) 1983-2002 The Jamestown Foundation Site Maintenance by Johnny Flash Productions