Like the Russian imperial eagle, the CIS now has two heads. As had been predicted, President Yeltsin has named Ivan Rybkin as his plenipotentiary representative to the CIS member-states. Announcing the appointment yesterday, presidential spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky said this is a new position in the presidential administration equal to the rank of a deputy prime minister, which Rybkin held until Yeltsin dissolved the government on March 23. (Itar-Tass, May 14)
Last month, Russia’s media magnate Boris Berezovsky–a political ally of Rybkin–was appointed executive secretary of the CIS. The secretarial position has, theoretically, a civil servant’s status, but Berezovsky intends to use it for running the organization as its operating chief. Rybkin’s new status is formally superior to Berezovsky’s in the Russian hierarchy. It is also superior to that of Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov. Within weeks of the dissolution of the CIS Affairs Ministry and the transfer of its responsibilities to the Foreign Ministry (MFA), the MFA seems to be losing control of part of its aspects of CIS affairs in favor of the Berezovsky-Rybkin tandem.
LATVIA FACES MORE AMBITIOUS BI-NATIONAL RUSSIAN PROPOSALS.