Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 202

President Leonid Kuchma told the press yesterday that CIS countries do not need a "common market" as Russia urged at last week’s CIS summit, but simply unimpeded trade among member countries. Despite a "recent, healthy warming up in Ukrainian-Russian relations," Moscow is waging an "economic cold war" against Ukraine, Kuchma said. He singled out Russia’s 20 percent value-added tax on Ukrainian exports and quantitative limitations on some products, such as sugar, as particularly hurtful to Ukraine’s economy. He said he had raised these issues at the October 23 CIS summit in Chisinau and gotten sympathetic understanding from Boris Yeltsin. However, Kuchma said, Yeltsin has on previous occasions promised remedial measures that failed to materialize. Kuchma quoted Yeltsin as having said at their meeting in Kyiv in May that "he had not known about such outrages and would wring the necks of those responsible in Moscow." But "those necks are still intact," Kuchma observed. (Ukrainian agencies, October 28) Kuchma had spoken of a Russian "trade war" at a national trade union congress in Kyiv on the eve of the CIS summit.

Georgia’s Membership in CIS Will Depend on Russian Policies.