Russia’s Foreign Ministry yesterday made public personnel decisions approved at the CIS summit in Moscow four days earlier. Russia’s Lt. Gen. Boris Dikov was appointed commander of "collective CIS peacekeeping" troops in Tajikistan in place of Lt. Gen. Viktor Zavarzin. The decision means that Dikov takes over the command of Russia’s 201st motor-rifle division which is virtually synonymous with the CIS peacekeeping troops in Tajikistan. Russia’s Maj. Gen. Dolya Babenkov was confirmed as commander of the "peacekeeping" troops in Abkhazia, a post he recently took over from Lt. Gen. Vasily Yakushev. As Babenkov has at least initially struck a more openly pro-Abkhaz stance than had his predecessor, the appointment implies a further setback for Georgia, whose proposals to enlarge the troops’ mandate were potentially crippled by Russian amendments at the summit. Russia’s first deputy defense minister and General Staff chief, Gen. Viktor Samsonov, was reappointed head of the CIS Military Cooperation Staff, and will hold the Russian and CIS posts concurrently. Two successive meetings of the Council of Defense Ministers had turned down former Russian General Staff chief Gen. Mikhail Kolesnikov for the CIS post.
Russian deputy prime minister Valery Serov was confirmed as head of the CIS Interstate Economic Committee — the main executive body of the CIS — although Ukraine had objected to Serov just prior to the summit. D. Saifullin was appointed head of the CIS Economic Court, located in Minsk. (Interfax, April 1; on the CIS summit see Monitor, March 31, April 1)
Differences Emerge Over New Conflict-Solving Body.