Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 144

Russia’s convalescent president Boris Yeltsin and CIS executive secretary Ivan Korotchenya decided yesterday at Yeltsin’s Barvikha retreat to schedule the next CIS summit for January 19 in Moscow. Yeltsin, his foreign policy adviser Dmitry Ryurikov, and Korotchenya set the agenda for the summit. On Yeltsin’s instructions, the agenda will focus on developing CIS "peacekeeping" functions on the territories of member countries, setting up CIS "conflict prevention groups, OSCE-style," enhancing the role of the CIS in international organizations, and "giving an impetus" to the CIS Economic Committee and the Councils of Foreign and Defense Ministers. (12)

The summit has been postponed repeatedly because of some member countries’ disagreements with some Russian proposals, scheduling conflicts which showed that some presidents had higher priorities than attending a CIS summit, and lately because of Yeltsin’s illness. Moscow suggested a late December date in order to show the usual two summits for the year; but some presidents insisted on staying home for the holidays. The agenda item about enhancing the international role of the CIS points to continued efforts by Moscow to elicit internal and external support for conferring on the CIS the status of a regional organization, which it does not have. The idea of duplicating, or preempting, OSCE conflict-prevention functions in CIS member countries is also consonant with Moscow’s quest for a legitimizing facade to intervention and conflict manipulation.

Latvia’s Left-Leaning Bloc to Form Government.