Armenian President Robert Kocharian has appointed Suren Harutiunian as the country’s ambassador to Belarus and, concurrently, as plenipotentiary representative to CIS bodies headquartered in Minsk. Harutiunian should be able to establish a uniquely congenial relationship with Belarusan President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s government and the Soviet holdover bureaucracy at CIS headquarters. Harutiunian capped a long Soviet career as first secretary of the Armenian Communist Party Central Committee from 1988 to 1990. He served afterward in the consular service of the Soviet Union and, subsequently, the Russian Federation, and finally in Moscow as a “senior adviser” on the staff of Russia’s Foreign Ministry (Noyan-Tapan, Azg, March 2).
The Yerevan announcement failed to specify whether Harutiunian is an Armenian or a Russian citizen. Government spokesmen sidestepped the question yesterday. As leader of the Armenian Communist Party, Harutiunian was considered Moscow’s man in Yerevan, and proved at best lukewarm to the nationalist movement for unification with Karabakh. He was ultimately displaced from power by the Karabakh movement, one of whose prime exponents was Kocharian. Harutiunian’s reemergence from oblivion represents a token of Armenia’s growing dependence on Russian support for conserving its territorial gains at the expense of Azerbaijan.
UZBEKISTAN SEEKS ANTITERRORIST COOPERATION WITH TAJIKISTAN.