Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 156

Russian president Boris Yeltsin yesterday appointed Aman Tuleev to the post of minister for cooperation with the CIS countries. Currently chairman of the legislative assembly of Kemerovo oblast in Siberia (see Russian Federation section in today’s Monitor), Tuleev is a Communist with ties to splinter groups to the left of Gennady Zyuganov’s Communist Party of the Russian Federation (KPRF), of which he is an ally but not a member. Tuleev has a record of supporting political initiatives which promote the idea of restoring the USSR in some form or other. He is also one of five co-chairmen of the Popular-Patriotic Union of Russia, set up recently around the KPRF by an array of Communist and nationalist groups and headed by Zyuganov.

Aged 52, a railroad engineer and graduate of the Social Sciences Academy of the CPSU Central Committee, Amangeldy Moldagazyevich Tuleev is a native of Turkmenistan. His Central Asian and nominally Moslem background almost certainly played an important role in Yeltsin’s selection of Tuleev over other potential Communist candidates for the position. The appointment testifies yet again to the Kremlin’s poor knowledge of, and insensitivity toward, CIS countries and their governing elites. No Central Asian government, with the conceivable exception of the Tajik, will feel reassured by the choice of Tuleev in view of his record of identification with Soviet and Russian great-power interests and his choice of a Russian cultural identity. European member countries of the CIS inevitably will feel even less flattered. Most member countries will read this appointment as a signal that the Kremlin is willing to concede at least some sectors of CIS policy to Communist diehards and would-be empire restorers. The silver lining on this picture is that the ministry is understaffed and underfunded and that Tuleev probably lacks the political clout to upgrade its position any time soon.

Latvian Declaration on Soviet Occupation Reaffirms Legal Continuity of the State.