In the effort to give good and comforting answers to the young questioners whom we love, we very often arrive at good and comforting answers for ourselves. - Ruth Goode
RFE/RL NEWSLINE

RFE/RL NEWSLINE Vol 1, No. 145, Part I, 23 October 1997



A daily report of developments in Eastern and Southeastern Europe,
Russia, the Caucasus and Central Asia prepared by the staff of Radio
Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

This is Part I, a compilation of news concerning Russia, Transcaucasia
and Central Asia. Part II covers Central, Eastern, and Southeastern
Europe and is distributed simultaneously as a second document.
Back issues of RFE/RL NewsLine and the OMRI Daily Digest are online
at RFE/RL's Web site:
http://www.rferl.org/newsline

CENTRAL ASIA IN TRANSITION: Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. This
six-part report on the RFE/RL Web site details how much has
changed since the collapse of the USSR -- and how much has not.
http://www.rferl.org/nca/special/asia/index.html

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Headlines, Part I

*CIS SUMMIT OPENS IN CHISINAU


*ZYUGANOV SLAMS ATTEMPTS TO PURSUE NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE


*APPROACHES TO RESOLVING KARABKH CONFLICT CLARIFIED

End Note
DRAWING BORDERS GEOGRAPHIC AND POLITICAL
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

REGIONAL AFFAIRS

CIS SUMMIT OPENS IN CHISINAU. Ten of the 12 CIS presidents
arrived in Chisinau on 22 October to attend the 21st CIS heads of
state summit. (Turkmenistan's Saparmurat Niyazov is sick, and
Georgia's Eduard Shevardnadze arrived one day later) The CIS
foreign ministers failed to reach agreement on the proposed creation
of a committee to resolve conflicts within or between member states.
Russian Foreign Minister Yevgenii Primakov said some states want
that body to be purely consultative, while other unnamed countries
share Russia's support for vesting it with the authority to take
administrative measures and deploy peacekeepers, ITAR-TASS
reported. The foreign ministers did, however, agree on a plan for
resolving the Abkhaz conflict, which will be submitted to the heads
of state on 23 October, Russian presidential spokesman Sergei
Yastrzhembskii told ITAR-TASS.

MOST PARTICIPANTS NOT OPTIMISTIC. On arriving in Chisinau,
Russian President Boris Yeltsin noted that the CIS heads of state
"have not met for a long time" and have drifted apart somewhat. He
expressed the hope that the Chisinau gathering will serve to "glue"
relations between member countries. (On the eve previous summit in
March, a Russian blueprint for subverting several CIS member states
was published, causing outrage among participants and contributing
to the postponement of the current summit.) Ukrainian President
Leonid Kuchma expressed the hope that the gathering will give
impetus to the CIS's further development. His Azerbaijani
counterpart, Heidar Aliev, said he hopes the CIS will become "more
effective" but as a "union of equal nations [that will not] be
dominated by one country " Uzbek President Islam Karimov also
stressed that CIS member countries must remain independent. He
warned against attempts either to revive the USSR or to conclude
alternative unions within the CIS.

INTER-STATE COUNCIL PRESIDENTS MEET. The presidents of the four
members of the CIS Inter-State Council (Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan,
and Kyrgyzstan) met in Moscow on 22 October before flying to
Chisinau, Russian agencies reported. They adopted a 13-point
document on increasing economic cooperation and strengthening
integration. That document provides for transferring the
chairmanship of the CIS Customs Union from Belarus to Kazakh
President Nursultan Nazarbaev, introducing unified customs duties
by the end of 1997, strengthening the work of the CIS Inter-State
Economic Committee, and drafting a coordinated policy to prepare
CIS states for membership of the World Trade Organization. The
presidents approved in principle a request by Tajik President
Imomali Rakhmonov for his country to be admitted to the Customs
Union.

TOP-LEVEL MEETING ON TRANSDIESTER... Presidents Yeltsin (Russia),
Leonid Kuchma (Ukraine), and Petru Lucinschi (Moldova) took part in
a "special meeting" on 23 October convened to discuss the
Transdniester conflict, BASA-press reported. Yeltsin later told
journalists that he "accepts" the proposals submitted by Lucinschi,
but the Russian leader did not specify what those proposals were.
Infotag reported that a Moldovan draft prepared for the meeting was
based on the agreement recently reached in Moscow at the tripartite
negotiations with Tiraspol representatives (see "RFE/RL Newsletter,"
10 October 1997). Yeltsin also said Russia's policy is clear: "We
recognize Moldova's integrity and independence and all problems
must be solved in Chisinau." He also stressed the position of State
Duma deputies on the Transdniester conflict does not represent the
official Russian stance.

...WHILE TRANSDNIESTRIAN LEADER FAILS TO SHOW UP. Meanwhile,
Igor Smirnov has failed to arrive at the CIS summit now under way
in Chisinau, BASA-press reported on 23 October. Vladimir
Atamanyuk, the deputy chairman of the breakaway region's
Supreme Soviet, said Moldovan Premier Ion Ciubuc's invitation to
Smirnov to attend both the summit and the "special meeting" at
presidential level had arrived "only yesterday," despite the fact that
preparations for the summit have been "on-going for two months."

RUSSIA

ZYUGANOV SLAMS ATTEMPTS TO PURSUE NO-CONFIDENCE VOTE.
Communist Party leader Gennadii Zyuganov on 22 October slammed
continued attempts by State Duma Deputy Speaker Sergei Baburin to
seek a vote of no confidence in the government, RFE/RL's Moscow
bureau reported. Baburin has accused Zyuganov of making a
"strategic error" by withdrawing the no-confidence vote (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 22 October 1997). Zyuganov denounced Baburin's efforts
as a "farce." He argued that the opposition has already forced the
authorities to "listen to the voice of the people," who, Zyuganov said,
are not ordinarily heard. In contrast, Communist Duma deputy
Vladimir Semago told RFE/RL that the government "has not made
any genuine concessions" to the opposition. Meanwhile, Duma
Speaker Gennadii Seleznev told journalists on 23 October that
Baburin has no chance of collecting the 90 signatures needed to put a
no-confidence vote on the Duma's agenda, ITAR-TASS reported.

OFFICIALS SAY TAX CODE TO GO TO TRILATERAL COMMISSION.
Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and First Deputy Prime
Minister Anatolii Chubais announced on 22 October that the trilateral
commission currently negotiating the 1998 budget has agreed
unanimously on a procedure whereby it will revise the tax code,
RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. Earlier the same day,
Chernomyrdin and Yabloko leader Grigorii Yavlinskii argued over
whether the government or the Duma must take the first step
toward withdrawing the tax code from the parliament, as Yeltsin has
instructed (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 22 October 1997). First Deputy
Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, considered the government minister
closest to Yabloko, took Chernomyrdin's side. Nemtsov told RFE/RL
that the tax code is currently "not the property of the government"
and cannot be withdrawn without action by the Duma. But Duma
Budget Committee Chairman Mikhail Zadornov of Yabloko told ITAR-
TASS that the trilateral commission exceeded its authority by
contradicting Yeltsin's instruction.

CHECHEN PRESIDENT DEMANDS SPECIAL POWERS. Aslan Maskhadov
has asked the Chechen parliament to grant his extra powers for a
period of two years, including the right to impose a state of
emergency, suspend existing legislation, and fire both cabinet
ministers and civil servants, Interfax reported on 22 October, quoting
parliamentary press secretary Lom-Ali Mirsibiev. Maskhadov argued
that his request is justified given the appalling economic and social
situation in Chechnya. The Chechen parliament will debate his
request on 23 October. Mirsibiev also told Interfax that all Chechen
civil servants, "from the minister to the cleaning lady," who kept
their posts during the 1994-19966 war with Russia will be fired and
banned from public office for five years.

ROKHLIN DENIES CALLING FOR UNCONSTITUTIONAL ACTIONS. Duma
Defense Committee Chairman Lev Rokhlin told journalists on 23
October that the media misinterpreted his speech four days earlier to
members of his Movement to Support the Army (DPA), Russian news
agencies reported. Rokhlin said the speech was "fully within the
framework of the constitution and [Russian] law." Media quoted
Rokhlin as vowing to remove Yeltsin and his "hated regime" by next
spring and to hold a "rehearsal" in February to determine whether
the movement is strong enough to "throw the government out."
Rokhlin said he has a tape recording of his remarks and will
distribute copies to prove he was misunderstood. He also read out a
statement adopted by the DPA's executive committee saying the
movement is not planning a military coup and accusing the
authorities of holding up the DPA's official registration with the
Justice Ministry.

SELEZNEV CRITICIZES NEW PASSPORTS. Duma Speaker Seleznev on
23 October announced that the Communist opposition will call for
changing the format of new Russian passports, which do not state the
nationality of the holder, RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. Seleznev
said the opposition favors restoring the line identifying the holder's
nationality and leaving citizens free to decide whether to fill it out.
Top officials in Tatarstan and several other republics in the Russian
Federation have objected to the new passports, which the
government began issuing in early October (see "RFE/RL Newsline,"
21 and 22 October 1997). Opposition politicians in the Duma are
seeking support from the Federation Council, which is made up of
regional leaders, in negotiations with the government over key
economic policies. In the Soviet era, the infamous "line 5" on
passports was blamed for facilitating discrimination against persons
belonging to certain ethnic groups.

CHERNOMYRDIN ORDERS POSTPONEMENT OF CABINET MEETING.
Prime Minister Chernomyrdin on 22 October instructed the
government to delay a cabinet meeting the next day "in connection
with [Chernomyrdin's] need to be present for consideration of
questions concerning pension reform and fulfilling the 1997 budget,"
ITAR-TASS reported. First Deputy Prime Minister Chubais had been
scheduled to chair the meeting while Chernomyrdin attended the CIS
summit in Chisinau. Earlier on 22 October, Deputy Prime Minister
Oleg Sysuev told ITAR-TASS that the "reduction of unwarranted
pension benefits" and the indexation of pensions would be discussed
at the cabinet meeting. When Chernomyrdin addressed the Duma on
8 October, he was asked whether the pension age will be raised,
RFE/RL's Moscow bureau reported. He replied that the government
will not undertake any "stupidities" and added that he does not know
"what Oleg Nikolaevich [Sysuev] told you, but [pension reform] will
be done as I say, and as the president says."

NEMTSOV STILL AT ODDS WITH BEREZOVSKII. First Deputy Prime
Minister Boris Nemtsov described his "ideological" differences with
Security Council Deputy Secretary Berezovskii in an interview
published in the latest edition of the weekly "Interfax-AiF." Nemtsov
charged that Berezovskii "thinks that first, all state property should
be divided among people selected by God, which he of course
considers himself, and afterward everyone should start to live
honestly. While I think we must start to live honestly here and now."
Nemtsov argued that the "overwhelming majority" in Russia's
business community support the government's policies, while a small
minority, who have "enormous influence in the press and on
television," are afraid of losing their privileges and facing fair
competition. Since August, Berezovskii and Nemtsov have exchanged
harsh public statements (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 15 and 21 August
1997). Nemtsov accuses Berezovskii of inappropriately influencing
Russian Public Television and using his post for personal gain.

RUSSIA TO HELP OVERHAUL LIBYAN NUCLEAR CENTER. Russian
Minister for Emergency Situations Sergei Shoigu announced in
Moscow on 22 October that Russia is ready to start talks with Libya
on overhauling the Gazhura nuclear research center, Interfax
reported. The Russian news agency quoted unidentified Russian
government sources as saying Moscow's cooperation with Libya has
been "slowed down" by the international embargo against Libya.
Those sources added that "no firm ground exists for the sanctions
since Libya has denounced terrorism and is taking steps in
compliance with the demands of the international community."

MOSCOW OPPOSES "DELEGITIMIZATION" OF EAST GERMANY. Russian
Foreign Ministry spokesman Gennadii Tarasov said Moscow is closely
monitoring trials of officials of the former German Democratic
Republic, Interfax reported on 22 October. Although Tarasov said
Moscow views those actions as "formally Germany's internal affair,"
he noted that defense attorneys for the accused regard them as an
"attempt on the part of certain groups in Germany to delegitimize the
GDR, once a sovereign and internationally recognized state."

YABLOKO MEMBERS CRITICIZE MILITARY BUDGET AS INCONSISTENT.
Aleksii Arbatov, the deputy chairman of the Duma Defense
Committee, and Peter Romashkin, his fellow Yabloko party member,
argued in the 23 October "Nezavisimaya gazeta" that the defense
budget proposed by the government is "internally inconsistent." The
two suggested that the budget, which calls for significant reforms but
fails to provide the funds for them, creates the impression that
"there are at least two governments in Russia." According to them,
one is headed by President Yeltsin and calls for military reform and
fulfillment of international obligations. The other, whose leaders they
do not name, is pursuing a policy of "macroeconomic stabilization,"
regardless of its consequences for Yeltsin's policies and Russia's
needs. Until this situation of "dual power" in the executive branch
ends, it will be almost impossible to find a compromise between the
government and the Duma, they argued.

NO COMPETITION IN OREL GOVERNOR'S RACE. Federation Council
Speaker and Orel Oblast Governor Yegor Stroev is set to coast to
victory in the 26 October gubernatorial election, "Izvestiya" reported
on 23 October. Anatolii Trofimov, the chairman of the Orel electoral
commission, predicts that Stroev will win 80 percent of the vote and
that turnout will be 80 percent. Stroev's only opponent, collective
farm head Vera Yenina, is hardly visible on the campaign trail. In a
recent interview with the local paper "Orlovskii vestnik," Yenina
remarked, "To be frank, I would prefer that the current head of
administration win the election. Yegor Semenovich [Stroev] is a
deserving, wise politician. The oblast is developing properly. Let
everything stay as it is. I want only that." Two other candidates tried
to run for governor, but the electoral commission refused them
registration, and the Orel Oblast Court rejected their appeal (see
"RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 1997).

CASH-STARVED CLINICS RELEASE PATIENTS IN PRIMORE. Psychiatric
clinics in Vladivostok have been forced to release dozens of patients
because of insufficient funds for food and medicine, RFE/RL's
correspondent in the city reported on 22 October. One of those
patients reportedly killed a neighbor with an ax, while another was
seen walking naked several days in a row in front of the Primorskii
Krai branch of the Federal Security Service. Health officials say the
most dangerous psychiatric patients remain institutionalized but are
deprived of sufficient food and medicine. Medical workers in several
cities in Primore are on strike, demanding not just back wages but
also funding for food and medical supplies. First Deputy Prime
Minister Chubais has reportedly promised Viktor Kondratov, the
presidential representative in Primore, that the federal government
will transfer 10 billion rubles ($1.7 million) to help finance health
institutions in the krai.

PRIMORE LEGISLATURE ENDS DISPUTE OVER VLADIVOSTOK MAYOR.
The Primorskii Krai Duma on 21 October reversed its decision to
suspend Vladivostok Mayor Viktor Cherepkov, ending the confusion
over who is the city's legitimate mayor, "Kommersant-Daily" reported
on 23 October. The legislature appointed Yurii Kopylov acting mayor
on 26 September, and Kopylov promptly set up an alternative city
administration, despite protests by various officials and a ruling by a
Vladivostok district court. The krai legislature stood by Kopylov for
several weeks, and the Primorskii Krai Court recently validated
Kopylov's appointment (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 16 October 1997).
However, Governor Yevgenii Nazdratenko, a longtime political enemy
of Cherepkov's who is almost invariably supported by the krai
legislature, distanced himself from the controversy. Nazdratenko
even visited Cherepkov in the hospital recently.

ASSOCIATE OF FORMER TULA GOVERNOR KILLED. Magomed Saidov, a
witness in a criminal investigation against former Tula Oblast
Governor Nikolai Sevryugin, was shot dead on 22 October in an
apparent contract killing, "Izvestiya" and "Kommersant-Daily"
reported. Sevryugin, who lost his post in a March election, was
arrested in June on charges that he accepted a $100,000 bribe from a
Moscow-based bank (see "RFE/RL Newsline," 9 June 1997). Saidov
was the director of the Tula agricultural enterprise Sazhenets, which
Sevryugin had headed before becoming governor. While in office,
Sevryugin reportedly allocated substantial budget funds to the
enterprise.

TRANSCAUCASUS AND CENTRAL ASIA

APPROACHES TO RESOLVING KARABKH CONFLICT CLARIFIED. Arkadii
Ghukasyan, the president of the self-proclaimed Republic of
Nagorno-Karabakh, told an RFE/RL correspondent in Yerevan on 22
October that differences between Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh on
how to resolve the Karabakh conflict are "to a certain extent"
hampering the peace process. Ghukasyan said the international
community has given Armenia far too much importance in its peace
efforts and has disregarded the unrecognized republic. Speaking to
journalists in Yerevan on 22 October, First Deputy Foreign Minister
Vartan Oskanian said such differences have been exacerbated by the
need to choose between a "package" and a "phased" solution.
Karabakh advocates the former, and Armenian President Levon Ter-
Petrossyan the latter. Meeting with a German Foreign Ministry
delegation, Armenian Prime Minister Robert Kocharyan said he
personally prefers the "package solution, which he said would
provide more reliable guarantees of Karabakh's security, according to
Noyan Tapan.

ABKHAZ REFUGEES THREATEN TO DEMAND SHEVARDNADZE'S
RESIGNATION. Before leaving for the CIS summit in Chisinau,
Shevardnadze met with representatives of the ethnic Georgians who
fled Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 hostilities, including deputies
from the Abkhaz parliament in exile, CAUCASUS PRESS reported on
23 October. The fugitives' warned that they will demand
Shevardnadze's resignation and launch a campaign of civil
disobedience if the president refuses to demand at the summit that
the mandate of the CIS peacekeeping force currently deployed along
the border between Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia not be
extended "under any conditions." Shevardnadze agreed to demand
the peacekeepers' withdrawal but warned it cannot be implemented
immediately.

COUNTDOWN TO EARLY OIL IN AZERBAIJAN. Prime Minister Artur
Rasi-Zade told Turan on 22 October that the first oil from
Azerbaijan's Chirag Caspian field will begin to flow on 12 November.
But a spokesman for the Azerbaijan International Operating
Committee involved in extracting the oil said that production will
begin as scheduled, in late October. Natik Aliev, the president of
Azerbaijan's state oil company SOCAR, told Turan that Azerbaijan is
ready to begin filling its section of the Baku-Grozny-Novorossiisk
export pipeline and that advance payment for the first 40,000 metric
tons to be exported has already been transferred to the Russian
pipeline company Transneft. Russian First Deputy Prime Minister
Boris Nemtsov, who is also fuel and energy minister, will attend a
formal ceremony in Baku on 7 November to mark the opening of the
pipeline, according to Interfax on 22 October.

KAZAKH OIL ROUNDUP. Kazakhstan has begun increasing the amount
of oil that it exports via Azerbaijan and Georgia, ANS-PRESS reported
on 22 October, quoting the president of Azerbaijan's Transchart
company, Fuad Rasulov. The oil is transported by tanker to Baku and
from there by rail to Batumi. But Kazakhstan has temporarily
suspended the export of oil to Iran under a 1996 inter-governmental
agreement, Interfax reported. Under that accord, Kazakhstan exports
2-6 million metric tons of crude to Iran annually and receives the
equivalent quantity of Iranian oil for sale on world markets. But
Baltabek Quandykov, Kazakhoil's new president, told journalists on
22 October that Iranian refineries are unable to process Kazakh
crude because of its high mercaptan content.

TALIBAN DELEGATION IN ASHGABAT. A Taliban delegation met in
Ashgabat on 20-21 October to discuss possible solutions to the
conflict in Afghanistan, Interfax reported. The talks took place within
the framework of the UN program for resolving the conflict. The
Taliban agreed to talks between all rival Afghan factions and
expressed support for the Turkmen proposal to convene a conference
of states bordering on Afghanistan. Russian President Yeltsin said in
Moscow on 22 October that he supports a multilateral peace
conference under the aegis of the UN. He mentioned specifically the
initiative of Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev to convene a peace
conference in Bishkek, ITAR-TASS reported.

AGREEMENT REACHED ON REPATRIATION OF TAJIK REFUGEES. Tajik,
Uzbek, and Afghan officials met with representatives of the UN High
Commission on Refugees in the Uzbek town of Termez on 21 October
to discuss the repatriation of some 7,000 Tajik refugees currently in
Afghanistan, "Nezavisimaya gazeta" reported . Following lengthy
talks, the participants reached agreement on opening the bridge
linking Termez with neighboring Afghanistan three times a week to
allow the Tajik refugees to cross into Uzbekistan on their way home
to Tajikistan, RFE/RL's Tajik service reported. The UNHCR will pay
the necessary travel expenses.

END NOTE

DRAWING BORDERS GEOGRAPHIC AND POLITICAL

by Paul Goble

        Russian President Boris Yeltsin's willingness to sign a border
demarcation agreement with Lithuania now reflects the convergence
of three strands in Moscow's foreign policy in the Baltic region. But
when Yeltsin signs the demarcation agreement with visiting
Lithuanian President Algirdas Brazauskas during his visit to the
Russian capital on 23-24 October, those strands may not be equally
obvious, even though all three are likely to prove equally important.
        First, Yeltsin's decision reflects Moscow's increasing willingness
to treat the three Baltic States in a differentiated fashion, rewarding
Lithuania, which has been the most cooperative, while putting
pressure on the other two.
        Second, it demonstrates an effort by the Russian government to
show it can and will develop better relations with the Baltics if those
countries are willing to cooperate. This is especially important in
Russian calculations because many in Scandinavia and the West view
progress in relations between Moscow and the Baltic States as the
"litmus test" of Russia's readiness to be accepted into Europe, as
former Swedish Premier Carl Bildt put it.
        Third, Yeltsin's decision appears to be part of a Russian effort
to portray Estonia and Latvia in the most negative light, hoping
thereby to reduce those states' attractiveness to Western partners
and as potential candidates for membership in the EU and NATO.
        At one level, those three strands of Russian policy appear
contradictory. Obviously, Moscow will have a difficult time in
simultaneously presenting itself as a good neighbor and seeking to
put pressure on two of the three Baltic States.
        But at another level, this combination of factors is consistent.
Yeltsin and the Russian foreign policy establishment are behaving
entirely rationally in treating the three Baltic countries differently.
Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are three very different countries with
very different domestic and international positions. Some Western
governments continue to treat them as a unit because of their history
of Soviet occupation from 1940 to 1991, but their very individual
situations both domestically and internationally justify a
differentiated approach.
        By dealing with the Balts in such a way, Yeltsin and Moscow
demonstrate that they recognize not only those countries' specific
approaches to domestic issues, such as the treatment of ethnic
Russians, but also the very different security problems of the three.
In addition, Yeltsin is to be given credit for backing an improved
relationship with the Baltic countries without any real danger of
having to live up to promises.
        The leaders of a number of factions in the Russian parliament
have already indicated they will not ratify any agreement Yeltsin
may sign with Brazauskas. As a result, Yeltsin will have the best of
both worlds: approbation from the West without a commitment to
follow the strictures of the agreement he appears likely to sign.
        Moreover, Yeltsin's very positive approach toward Lithuania
allows him to place enormous pressure on both Estonia and Latvia to
change their positions on a variety of issues or face ostracism from at
least some Western institutions. In particular, he may be forcing
Estonia's hand to change its approach lest it lose the support of its
West European partners, who have already indicated that they want
Estonia to begin in December the process of becoming a member of
the EU.
        That apparent calculation is unlikely to prove wrong, especially
if Western governments argue that Estonia and Latvia should make
the same concessions that the Lithuanians have in order to establish
good relations with Moscow. It may also ultimately prove the most
critical in the thinking of the Russian government. Both Russian
nationalists and the government have continued their criticism of
Estonia and Latvia for their attitudes toward their ethnic Russian
populations. And thus signing an accord with Lithuania only
highlights what Russian nationalists and Moscow see as the lack of
progress on this issue in the other two Baltic States.
        Even if Russia's apparent calculation backfires because the
West declines to follow its logic, Moscow has the choice of shifting
gears and signing border accords with Estonia and Latvia, as Yeltsin
has sometimes indicated he is willing to do. Thus, the Russian
government's latest effort to demarcate a region politically as well as
geographically appears to be a situation in which Moscow has much
to gain and very little to lose.

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