Addressing the meeting of foreign ministers of the OSCE countries yesterday, Boris Tarasyuk expressed Ukraine’s concern over the absence of progress toward settling the Karabakh, Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Transdniester conflicts. The OSCE ought to focus on those areas and apply its conflict-resolution mechanisms there, Tarasyuk told the OSCE’s year-end meeting in Oslo on the opening day. Regarding the preparations to draw up a European Security Charter, Tarasyuk identified the main issues to be cooperation among the OSCE, the European Union (with its nascent defense arm, the WEU) and NATO, without stipulating any role for the CIS (UNIAN, AP, December 2).
Kyiv’s position contrasts Moscow’s. The Russian diplomats went into the conference calling for: (1) a deemphasis on the OSCE’s already limited involvement in the “CIS space” and a correspondingly increased role for Russian “peacekeeping” there, (2) recognition of the CIS as a “regional organization” entitled to forming its own security mechanisms on a par with NATO and the European Union, and (3) institutionalizing OSCE-CIS cooperation on that basis. This agenda, if accepted, would help pave the way toward the reestablishment of a Russian sphere of influence based on military preponderance in a large part of Eurasia.
UKRAINE: RUKH AND REFORMS AND ORDER PARTY UNITE IN A BLOC.