Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 99

Russia’s Foreign Ministry has drawn up unified rules for the CIS member countries regarding the entry, stay, exit, and transit of foreign citizens, and proposes to create a single center which would control the foreigners’ entry to and exit from CIS countries. Moscow further proposes that Russian consulates in the outside world be empowered to protect the rights and interests of citizens and business firms of CIS member countries. Russian chief delegate Valery Vinogradov submitted these proposals at a meeting in Moscow of the heads of consular departments of the Foreign Ministries of CIS member countries. The Russian side wants the proposals referred to the Council of Foreign Ministers of CIS countries, due to meet in Moscow in early October. Without awaiting that meeting, Vinogradov called on the ministries to immediately send notes to foreign governments to "confirm Russian consulates’ powers" with regard to the citizens of CIS countries. (5)

The proposals may find takers among the CIS countries most dependent on Russia, but most member countries are likely to resist. The proposals are in line with intermittent attempts by Russia’s Foreign Ministry to act in the name of CIS countries in the world outside. Such attempts long predate Moscow’s latest calls for the formation of a CIS bloc in response to discussions about NATO’s enlargement.

Strengthening Ties with China.