Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 88

Russian president Boris Yeltsin has issued a decree mandating the creation of a special peacekeeping contingent within the armed forces, the presidential press service announced May 3. The decree orders the defense ministry to designate within one month a list of 17 motorized infantry and 4 airborne battalions to be assigned to the new contingent, which is to number 22,000 soldiers by December 1. The decree also orders the government to adopt within three months regulations on the financing, maintenance, and employment of the peacekeeping forces. Beginning next year, draft federal budgets will earmark funding devoted specifically to the peacekeeping forces and their operations. (Itar-Tass & Interfax, May 3) In addition to enhancing the status of peacekeeping activities by the Russian army, the decree appears to be a response by Yeltsin to complaints from military leaders long unhappy over regular defense allocations being used to finance peacekeeping operations.

Finland, Russia Announce Agreements.