In recent statements on relations with the states of the former Soviet Union, Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov returned to the theme of Russian dominance in a Russian sphere of influence. Pipelines for moving gas from Turkmenistan or oil from Azerbaijan directly to Western markets would be “detrimental to Russia” and are therefore “unacceptable.” The GUUAM, the loose association of Georgia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan and Moldova, must not take on a “political-military character” that would “impinge on Russia’s interests.” And picking up on President Yeltsin’s remark about “fighting the Westerners,” Ivanov said: “Greater Russia must and will act as one of the centers of gravity” of a multipolar world. The phrase “greater Russia” can be taken to encompass more or less the territory of the old USSR.