The United Nations General Secretary’s spokesman, Fred Eckhard, announced yesterday the appointment of Russian diplomat Yuli Vorontsov to the post of UN Deputy Secretary General. Vorontsov is now ending a tour of duty as Russia’s ambassador to the United States. In his new post at the UN, the veteran Soviet diplomat will be responsible for peacekeeping issues and negotiations toward the settlement of conflict situations (AFP cited by Russian agencies, January 12).
The UN has thus far played a minimal role in conflict resolution among CIS countries. UN envoys have, on the whole, tended to defer to Russian and Iranian leadership in Tajikistan and to Russian and Abkhaz interests in Georgia. Russian policy has been a major factor in fueling and exploiting conflicts in CIS countries, and is directed at keeping the pot simmering in Karabakh, Abkhazia, North Ossetia and Transdniester. The appointment of Vorontsov promises, at best, to perpetuate the UN’s self-imposed irrelevance to conflict resolution in CIS countries, and, at worst, to aid Moscow’s lobbying–thus far unsuccessful–for international acceptance of a Russian special role in CIS peacekeeping and security arrangements.
GAZPROM SAYS UKRAINE PILFERS RUSSIAN GAS AND PILES UP DEBTS.