Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 219

At his briefing yesterday, Ryurikov asserted that "a closer Russian-Ukrainian economic, political, and military union is not in sight for the time being, in the short term." Ryurikov argued that Ukrainian history includes phases of "assertion of Ukrainian statehood to the detriment of close relations with Russia. This is apparently occurring now, it is a temporary phenomenon." (Interfax, November 20) This unusually open official assertion reflects an oft-stated view among Russian political and cultural elites that Ukrainian independence is unnatural, contrary to Kiev’s own interests, and transitory.

Georgia Seeks to Control National Borders.