Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 115

. Konstantin Zatulin, chairman of the State Duma Committee for the CIS and Relations with Compatriots, appears to have little use for Federation Council members who are currently promoting the holding of a national referendum on Russian-Belarusian integration. Zatulin said October 17 that the deputies in question had hatched the idea in order to boost their appeal among voters in December. They want to worm their way out of tough questions from constituents who are angered by the situation of Russians in the "near abroad." These same deputies were "accomplices," according to the Duma committee chairman, in the process that transformed, overnight, millions of Russians into residents of foreign states. (10) Zatulin, a conservative watchdog over ethnic Russian rights, also said that such a referendum would be a waste of money because, as formulated, it would amount to asking people, "Do you want to be friends with Belarus?"

German Military Assistance to Latvia