Does the West's Position Need Modification?
Foreign Intelligence Service
[Report delivered to Russian and foreign journalists by Yevgeniy Primakov, director of the
Russian Foreign Intelligence Service]
The main avenue of contemporary development in the
international situation is highlighted by a move away from "Cold
War values" and a reorientation to civilized interstate
relations. But all that does not render the world less complex,
does not preclude failures of various countries' national
interests to intermesh, or sometimes even conflicts between
various countries' national interests. The inertia of thinking
and the enduring stereotypes of past practice also take their
toll to some extent.
Tracing the development of various processes and trends in
the international arena the Russian Federation FIS could not
overlook the fact that influential circles in a number of
Western countries interpret the role that Russia may play in
uniting the republics of the former Soviet Union as "imperial"
and integration as a process aimed at the restoration of the
USSR (Footnote) (Here and hereinafter it is not a question of
the former Baltic republics which do not form part of the CIS).
Some foreign analysts are promoting with increasing vigor
idea that the irreversibility of the move away from the "Cold
War" is directly dependent on keeping the former Soviet Union in
a disconnected state. At the same time it is claimed
(Brzezinski and others) that separate CIS states are needed to
balance the tendency for Moscow's positions to gain strength.
The prospects linked with the results of the recent elections
in Ukraine and Belorussia [Belarus] aare also being viewed from
the viewpoint of the undesirability of centripetal processes on
the territory of the former USSR. The conclusion is drawn that
the policy of the leading Western countries vis-a-vis the CIS
area should be modified with a view to preserving the status quo
that took shape following the breakup of the Union. On the one
hand, these opinions hide real fears that centripetal processes
within the Commonwealth may revive the union state in its former
capacity as the enemy of the West and, on the other, clear
pointers regarding the "need" to prevent Russia's growing
stronger as a world power.
Needless to say, all Western leaders are not so definite
and unequivocal. But even the fact that this topic is being
discussed by political circles in the United States and certain
European states, along with the calls for a reappraisal of the
West's strategy in the sphere of security and for changes to
their policy toward Russia and the other CIS countries, are
viewed by FIS experts as serious reason for analysis.
I. Wholesale Generalizations and Reality
The idea of Russia's changing and as yet undefined relations
with the former national Soviet republics as "Moscow's imperial
ambitions" is not a matter for theoretical dispute. Policy may
be -- and in a number of cases already is -- behind that
U.S. Congressional experts for instance rightly point out
that in the past year Russia's foreign policy has become more
independent, regarding its own vital national interests as being
of paramount importance. One can and must concur unequivocally
that this change does not revive the "Cold War" era. However
the conclusion that this change in Russia's policy does
nevertheless represent a "kind of challenge to the United
States" stems from the logic that indeed prevailed during the
"Cold War" when one side's defense of its own interests was
necessarily regarded as a minus by the other side.
Russia's safeguarding its vital interests is by no means an
alternative to its desire for partnership relations with the
United States, and European and other states. On the contrary,
the durability of these relations is ensured by their equitable
nature, which manifests itself in the partners' ability to grasp
the essence of one another's national interests and uphold them
in a nonconfrontational climate.
Typically, many foreign experts mainly associate the threat
to Russian-Western relations with Russia's stance on the
so-called near abroad.
Some shift of emphasis can be noticed here. The question of
whether the centripetal tendencies within the Commonwealth will
develop within or outside the democratic process may indeed be
worrying both Western politicians and public opinion in the "far
abroad." However, often the emphasis is placed on something
else: Will the CIS survive at all in its disjointed form or will
there be reintegration on its territory. Here the former is
seen as beneficial to the West and the latter as contrary to its
Current information indicates that the arguments behind this
stance are mainly that:
reintegration will destroy the sovereignty of the states
within the CIS;
it will at the same time weaken democratic processes
throughout the Commonwealth;
Russia, using its resources, which are incomparable to
those of the other CIS countries, will start "flexing its
These arguments are unfounded.
First, all attitudes to the breakup of the Union
notwithstanding, the tremendous stability of the new states'
sovereignty remains an immutable fact. Its attainment is
Second, any significant political organizations which
condemn the breakup of the USSR do not aim to restore it in its previous
form and capacity. Awareness of the irreversibility not only of
the CIS countries' state sovereignty but also of the emergence
of private ownership throughout the greater part of the former
USSR and the development of a mixed economy is growing among
these organizations and forces.
Third, the idea of Russia's striving to "take in hand" the
other CIS states, using its economic and other advantages to
this end, is untenable. The fairly widespread views in the
national republics of the USSR that "assets were pumped" from
the provinces to Russia and that Moscow "inculcated" excessive
centralization in cadre and other decisions initially or
historically so to speak paved the way for this kind of talk.
The latter did indeed take place in the past but the
"resumption of Moscow's diktat" -- and all serious experts are
aware of this -- is impossible following the changes in Russia
and the former USSR republics' acquisition of sovereignty.
It would be wrong to claim that "integrationist" views and
sentiments hold complete sway at present in the CIS countries.
There are certain forces in Russia itself and the other CIS
states who disregard or underestimate the objective nature of
the centripetal tendencies forging their way through various
parts of the former Union. In Russia, hypothetically speaking,
the "neoisolationists" attribute their position to the fact that
the Russian Federation has sufficient potential to autonomously
escape from the crisis and an agreement on economic union would
be burdensome for it and could even complicate its relations
with the West. In other CIS states the "neoisolationists" rely
on "conclusions" that economic integration on the territory of
the former USSR would weaken their sovereignty, strengthen
Moscow's influence, and complicate the development of relations
with other states.
Both groups consider that they express the national idea.
And Russian "neoisolationists" can indeed for instance cite the
fact that in 1993 alone deliveries to other CIS countries for
which no payment was made reached around $10 billion, which is
in excess of all the aid that Russia received from the IMF and
the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development. (Is
that not a counterargument to the big talk regarding the
machinations by Moscow, which is allegedly thinking of
establishing its own supremacy throughout the Commonwealth!)
The "neoisolationists" believe that Russia should "distance
itself" from the other CIS countries because their egotistical
credit and monetary policy is dangerously whipping up inflation
All that is indeed happening. However, "neoisolationist"
ideas and currents run counter to objective processes. What is
more, they harbor considerable potential for conflict. At the
same time, according to the Russian FIS's information, a desire
is arising in leadership circles in a number of leading Western
countries and states in the Muslim world to view
"neoisolationist" currents" as a possible mainstay when
implementing their policy on the CIS.
II. Economic Realities
There are a whole series of factors in favor of creating a
common economic area in the Commonwealth;
the traditionally high level of production sharing that
has developed over the decades: In the late eighties the RSFSR
(now Russia) sold almost twice as much of its output via
interrepublic union commodity turnover as it did via trade with
foreign countries while the other former Soviet republics sold
roughly seven times as much;
the single technological area that developed over the
decades, the unified standards, and the fact that national
processing capacities were tied to certain categories and grades
of raw materials and semimanufactures;
the republics' vital need to maintain employment by
preserving mutual deliveries and also the very existence of
their own industry, whose output, with the exception of cheap
natural raw materials, is as yet uncompetitive on the world
the need for investment cooperation in opening up and
processing natural resources, and the joint use of important
installations, particularly infrastructure;
the advantages of a coordinated strategy for the
conversion of the defense industry;
the impossibility, given the "transparency" of the
borders, of total economic isolation; the sizeable material
losses owing to illegal imports and re-export; the absence of a
coordinated financial policy, and difficulties in mutual
the unfeasibility in the coming years of a real influx of
foreign financial and industrial capital given the instability
of the situation in the CIS countries and the high degree of
Lastly, there is no reason to believe that the CIS will stay
aloof from worldwide practice, which demonstrates the advantages
of a large-scale economic area for the development of productive
forces. It was awareness of these advantages that led to the
conception and broadening of economic integration processes in
various parts of the world -- be it the European Union, ASEAN,
NAFTA, or other integrationist groupings.
Naturally in the present conditions in view of the
sovereignty of the CIS states it is impossible to
mechanically restore the economic ties in the forms
that existed within the single Union of the past. The movement
toward the creation of a common economic area in the CIS is not
straightforward and cannot occur without irregularities,
digressions, and retreats. Suffice it to say that the formation
of a common economic area within the Commonwealth is altogether
impossible without in-depth economic reforms in the USSR's
former national republics and without squaring their economic
mechanisms with the Russian model.
The stage-by-stage resolution of the issue of forming a
common economic area is dictated not only by the uneven
development of elements for the transition to a market economy
in the CIS countries but also by the demands of this process
itself. The creation of a common market, including freedom of
movement for goods, capital, and the work force, is proposed as
the immediate objective followed by the unification of the
infrastructure to ensure the normal functioning of the
corresponding sectors of the Commonwealth countries' economy.
The creation of a common economic area in the Commonwealth
is a by no means easy matter. However, it is
hopeless to resist the centripetal tendencies within
the CIS, which are particularly manifest at present in the
And counterproductive at the same time.
The creation of a common economic area in the CIS is
virtually the only way of reducing tension in interstate
relations in connection with the fact that following the breakup
of the Union there are around 25 million Russians and so-called
Russian speakers who gravitate toward them outside Russia.
III. Security Realities
A number of factors are prompting the CIS countries to
not only an economic but also a common defense area designed to
guarantee their security.
The change in the military-political situation in the world,
characterized by a reduction in tension on a global level, the
Russian Federation's and other CIS countries' renunciation of
the concept of permanent enemies, and the beginning of
cooperation with NATO does not mean the elimination of potential
threats to their security. The world community is now at a
stage where the geopolitical configuration is changing, the
militarization of a number of "Third World" countries is
continuing, and many nuclear and "threshold" states are situated
on or near to the CIS borders, the conflict zone is expanding,
encompassing the center of Europe and part of the "outlying
areas" of the former USSR.
1. Conflicts in the CIS countries. The
interethnic and interstate conflicts that have broken out in the
CIS states directly and in adjacent countries are tending to
expand. The situation is aggravated by a number of factors.
First, in postwar history this is the first time
that crisis has simultaneously enveloped a host of countries in
direct proximity to or bordering on states on whose territory
contemporary destructive arms and highly complex technical
production units are located. In these conditions the
settlement of interethnic and interstate conflicts is a
particularly pressing task.
Second, a considerable proportion of the CIS
conflict zone is adjacent to Afghanistan, where there is no sign
of the situation stabilizing in the near future. In view of the
ethnic features (the northern part of Afghanistan is mainly
inhabited by Tajiks and Uzbeks) Afghanistan's destabilizing
effect on the Central Asian states is intensifying. Moreover it
is acquiring the nature of a threat to the state security of a
number of countries, primarily Tajikistan, followed by
Uzbekistan. Russia's FIS has information to the effect that
there are forces in Afghanistan which want to break the north
away and which are striving to create on that basis a
Farsi-speaking state incorporating Tajikistan.
Third, the situation in the CIS "hot spots" has
been aggravated as a result of other states apart from
Afghanistan, primarily Iran and Turkey, becoming "embroiled" in
them. Both these countries are seeking to broaden their
influence and are aspiring to the role of regional superpowers.
As a result of their "involvement" in the conflicts on the CIS
territory -- and this is not only of significance for Russia
alone -- there is a "swing to the right" taking place in the
alignment of forces in Turkey and Iran.
Fourth, Islamic extremism has a highly negative
effect on the crisis situations on CIS territory.
FIS analysts believe that under no circumstances should it
associated with Islamic fundamentalism, which does not
presuppose the forcible spread of Islam, much less terrorist
methods. However, of late, Islamic extremism has intensified as
a movement aiming to spread Islam by force, suppress forces
opposed to this, and change the secular nature of the state.
The "effect" of this extremism has manifested itself in both
Tajikistan and the Caucasus conflict zone. However the problem
of the spread of Islamic extremism is not locally confined.
Fifth, despite a host of statements in actual fact
an inadequate reaction can be discerned on the part of the world
community to the conflict situations that have developed near
Russia's borders. For instance, for all the comparable number
of victims of the Yugoslav crisis and in the CIS "hot spots"
major differences are emerging in peacekeeping diplomacy toward
these two crisis zones. The United Nation's sharp reaction
involving the use of force to the capture of several units of
combat hardware in Bosnia rubs shoulders with a "polite
reference" to the death of Russian border guards when repelling
gangs' attempts to infiltrate the Afghan-Tajik border.
2. Peacekeeping actions on CIS territory. All
the Commonwealth countries have an interest in their
Russia's active involvement in settling conflict situations
is attributed to its vital interest in a stable situation on its
borders and in preventing conflicts having a provocative
influence on certain regions of the Russian Federation. People
in Moscow cannot close their eyes to the fact that armed
operations result in the death of Russian citizens and the
violation of the rights of the Russian-speaking population,
refugees are streaming toward the Russian Federation, and huge
financial resources are needed in order to look after them,
while their migration is exacerbating the social and crime
Despite the indisputably positive results of the
actions in South Ossetia and the Dniester Region, their
important role in Tajikistan, and the favorable start to the
operations in Abkhazia, they elicit a more or less negative or
suspicious reaction in many capitals of the "far abroad." There
is criticism of Russia's "special role" in peacekeeping actions
on the territory of the Commonwealth countries and the idea that
its vital interests are linked with a state of stability in the
other CIS countries.
On the poor international-legal base for peacekeeping
operations on CIS territory. In reality Russia's
commitments under the UN Charter, the corresponding UN Security
Council decisions, and other international treaties and
agreements, including within the CIS framework ("On Collective
Peacekeeping Forces in the CIS" of 20 March 1992, "On Collective
Peacekeeping Forces and Joint Measures to Provide them With
Material and Technical Support" of 24 September 1993, etc)
constitute the international-legal basis for its participation
in peacekeeping activity.
The possibility of the use of Russian peacekeeping
contingents abroad in accordance with Russia's international
commitments is envisaged in the Russian Federation Law "On
Defense" of 24 September 1992 and the Russian Federation
presidential edict "On the Basic Provisions of Russian
Federation Military Doctrine" of 2 November 1993. The draft law
"On the Procedure for the Provision of Russian Personnel for
Participation in Peacekeeping Activity" is being examined by the
Russian Federation parliament.
It must also be particularly emphasized that no peacekeeping
action in the CIS has been conducted without the consent of the
conflicting parties although the United States for instance has
carried out operations in Panama and Grenada without any
approval from these countries' authorities.
On the fact that Russia allegedly pits its efforts
against the activity of the United Nations and other
international organizations. By way of confirmation I can
cite in particular the words spoken by U.S. Secretary of State
Christopher, who said bluntly when addressing the U.S. Senate 2
March this year: "We (the United States) do not recognize their
(Russia's) right to take any actions in the new independent
states save those which are carried out following coordination
with the United Nations and other international organs and in
accordance with the norms of international law."
On the lack of neutrality among the Russian forces when
implementing individual peacekeeping operations on Commonwealth
territory. There are usually references to the Russian
military's "inconsistency" in Abkhazia and Tajikistan. However,
the neutrality of the Russian forces involved in resolving
conflicts is guaranteed by the pledges made by the Russian
Federation when coordinating the terms and framework of the
peacekeeping operations with all the interested parties.
On the predominance of Russian subunits in the
Commonwealth's peacekeeping contingents. This cannot be
put forward as an accusation purely because in practice it is
not yet possible to ensure full-fledged participation by the
other CIS states in peacekeeping operations. The overwhelming
majority of states of the "far abroad" are not prepared to send
peacekeeping forces here, and the United Nations is not prepared
to pay for peacekeeping operations.
On the inadequacy of international monitoring of
Russia's peacekeeping activity. This is completely
refuted, for instance, by the fact that the CIS countries'
peacekeeping operations in Abkhazia and Nagorno-Karabakh will be
monitored in total by several hundred international observers.
UN and CSCE missions have already been operating in the
Dniester region, Georgia, and Tajikistan for a long time. The
large Minsk Group of the CSCE on Nagorno-Karabakh has been
functioning since 1992. They all have practically unlimited
access to the information they require.
On the inadequacy of the negotiating process in
settling conflicts. Yet not a single Russian peacekeeping
operation has been carried out without preliminary work to
organize talks between the parties to the conflict. Moreover,
the military phase of the settlement, involving the sending in
of disengagement forces (South Ossetia, the Dniester region,
Abkhazia) or the countering of outside aggression (Tajikistan)
is always aimed at creating the conditions for intensifying
talks with international participation (the United Nations, the
CSCE). That talks to find a peaceful resolution to crises
should be prolonged is a normal phenomenon in world practice.
Thus, Russia is observing all the internationally recognized
conditions of peacekeeping taken together.
3. The problem of the "transparency" of external and
internal borders. Following the USSR's collapse and the
formation of the CIS, the question of how to ensure a quality
relationship between CIS external borders and the internal
borders of Commonwealth countries has sharply arisen. With
"transparent" internal borders there is no doubt about the need
to protect external borders. At the same time, in the absence
of an overall defense area including functions such as a unified
system for protecting external borders, there is a need to
delimit and demarcate the Commonwealth's internal borders. And
this is by no means easy.
The demarcation of Russia's borders with neighboring CIS
countries will require huge financial expenditure -- which could
substantially hamper the reform of the Russian economy and stoke
the already quite tense sociopolitical situation. The
demarcation of Russian borders would be liable to lead to the
emergence of new "hot spots" in the CIS -- for instance, Ossets,
Lezgins, and so forth, would find themselves on both sides of
the state border.
Thus, the measures to step up controls on the Russian
Federation border with Azerbaijan have shown that in this sector
hundreds of citizens from Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, and other
countries are illegally entering Russia along with contraband,
including weapons. As a result of the "holes" in our border
protection and visa regulations, and of the lack of coordination
in immigration policy between the CIS countries, the number of
illegal migrants from various Asian and African countries coming
to Russia has increased sharply.
This situation is making it necessary for Russia to
the situation in the near abroad through joint efforts with the
CIS countries and to restore order on the Commonwealth's
external borders, while simultaneously equipping the Russian
border -- bearing in mind that the approach taken to determining
the arrangements in the various different sectors should depend
on local circumstances and should rule out the possibility of
any damage being done to integration processes on CIS territory.
4. Features of military organizational development in
the leading states that were formerly "enemies" of the
USSR. The current phase of the development of
international relations has some specific components which
Russia and the other CIS members cannot fail to take into
account. The United States, Britain, France, and China have
currently not only not given up their strategic offensive
weapons but are also implementing a range of measures to
modernize their land-based ICBM's, their submarine-launched
ballistic missiles, and their strategic aviation.
Under present-day conditions these states have not missed
on the trend common to all former Cold War participants toward a
reduction in military spending. New emphasis is being laid on
military doctrines, dictated by the current military-political
and military-strategic situation.
The United States' new nuclear strategy, which emerged after
the end of the Cold War, preserves the basic principles of the
utilization of nuclear weapons -- the comprehensive combat use
of all components of the "triad"; the provision of conditions
for neutralizing enemy defenses; collaboration between different
U.S. combat arms; and close coordination of their efforts with
the NATO allies.
The single operational plan for destroying the presumed
enemy's strategic targets (SIOP) envisages supplementing the
range of new scenarios and unusual targets. There is a planned
transition to "adaptive" planning, which makes it possible to
clarify virtually in real time the operational plans for the use
of nuclear weapons in response to a changing situation.
While preserving and modernizing their strategic offensive
weapons, the United States, China, Britain, and France are
emphasizing the development of their national forces. And the
United States, with the most powerful strategic offensive
weapons systems, is continuing to provide guarantees to a number
of nonnuclear powers both within NATO and outside it. For
instance, there is a paragraph to this effect in the
U.S.-Japanese Security Treaty.
The existing practice, linked to improving strategic
offensive weapons and the continued provision of guarantees by
the United States, is due to a number of factors:
the "uncertainty" of the domestic political situation in
the continuing presence of nuclear weapons on the
territory of Ukraine and Kazakhstan, where the domestic
political situation has also not stabilized;
the need to "restrain" China, particularly in the
the acquisition of nuclear weapons by a number of
countries, including India and Pakistan;
the continuing work to develop [sozdaniye] nuclear
in other states (the relevant "indications" of the situation in
this sphere in the DPRK and Iran are received particularly
With certain overtones the lists of these factors also
features in any explanation of political decisions in the sphere
of military-strategic organizational development in Britain and
China too argues that its policy has an eye to the "need to
safeguard its national interests." One way or another, all the
measures to improve national strategic offensive weapons are
presented as an appropriate reaction to the new dangers of the
Irrespective of the weightiness of the reasons which have
given rise to this practice, it is a reality that Russia -- and,
clearly, the other CIS countries -- cannot ignore. The
conclusion has been drawn from this practice that it is
necessary at this stage to preserve and develop one's own
strategic offensive forces.
5. Other present-day security requirements.
These primarily include the problems of overcoming the
environmental crisis which is getting worse throughout the
Commonwealth. And the fight against the causes of this crisis
requires joint efforts from all the CIS countries for the simple
reason that many of the sources of environmental disasters and
difficulties are to be found in several different states (the
Aral Sea, for instance).
The same joint efforts are required in the fight against
epidemics, which have become particularly dangerous in the
context of the deteriorating socioeconomic situation in a whole
number of areas and the lack of any proper public-health
measures appropriate to the "transparency" of our internal
borders and the "holes" in the Commonwealth's external borders
-- particularly in the Central Asia and Caucasus areas.
Close coordination of the CIS countries' efforts is also
needed in order to successfully combat organized crime. It is
necessary to pool efforts in this area owing to the
"international" nature of organized crime, which came about
during the USSR's existence and continues to persist today. We
could also conclude that without effective collaboration between
law-enforcement organs and the CIS countries' special services
there will be no chance at all to improve the crime situation on
the territory of the former USSR -- a situation which is of
increasing alarm not only to the population of the Commonwealth,
but also to the "far abroad."
IV. Likely Scenarios for the Development of the Situation
in the CIS
Centripetal processes intensify within the CIS. The
prerequisites for a common economic area are created and then
the area takes shape. General rules of "economic behavior" and
unified systems in the sphere of lending, money supply, customs,
taxes, courts of arbitration, and so forth are elaborated and
formalized. Transrepublican companies are set up. While
retaining their state sovereignty, the CIS countries "delegate"
part of it to the suprarepublican structures required for the
functioning of the common economic area.
Along with economic integration (or lagging slightly behind
it) there is integration in the military sphere, and a defense
area with a unified command and unified subunits designed to
protect external borders, undertake peacekeeping missions, and
deter potential enemies is formed.
It is not ruled out that in the process of further
development the prerequisites will appear for political
integration, the most likely form of which could be a
Events could develop differently under this scenario. Most
probably the process would begin with the implementation of
agreements on an economic union initially between several CIS
members, with the others joining later.
The development of events under this scenario would lead to
stabilization, democratization, the advancement of reform, and
could include a transition to a federal system in a number of
CIS countries -- which would reduce still further the threat of
interethnic and interstate conflicts on Commonwealth territory.
The development of events under this scenario would lead to
an increase in the power of the CIS, its ability to develop
independently, and its competitive strength in international
markets. But at a time when democratic processes and economic
reforms are developing in the former USSR this will not result
in the clock being turned back to the era of confrontation with
the West. On the contrary, this scenario creates the best
opportunities for stabilizing the situation throughout the CIS,
nullifying the danger of "chaos in a nuclear-weapon state" and
producing the necessary conditions for expanding economic
cooperation -- including by attracting foreign investment.
With direct or indirect outside support, forces advocating
"separate development" gain the upper hand in Russia and other
Commonwealth countries. This compounds the economic crisis in
the former Union national republics and increases the
sociopolitical tension in them. The breakdown of national
economic ties and the abandonment of production sharing could
become irreversible. The unemployment problem will become acute
and the transition to boosting production will be complicated.
The emphasis on nationalism will be accompanied by an
intensification in authoritarian and undemocratic trends. The
criminalization of society, the infringement of ethnic
minorities' rights, and mass violations of human rights will be
additional destabilizing factors.
The positions of Islamic extremists in the CIS states with
Muslim populations will grow stronger. The intensification of
separatist trends will help bring about the collapse of certain
Theoretically for Russia the conditions for getting out of
the economic crisis could improve in a very short period of
time. But the economy does not develop in a vacuum. The
question of the need to completely eliminate the "transparency"
of borders will arise and will require enormous expenditure.
The flow of refugees from certain CIS countries to the Russian
Federation will increase. The new geopolitical situation will
require considerable additional amounts of defense spending.
Finally, Russia will lose its traditional markets, which will
be particularly painful when we are getting out of the crisis
and beginning to boost production.
The overall destabilization in the CIS will pose a threat to
the world community's security.
(Rather, you could call it a "subscenario," since the
development of events implied by it would inevitably lead in the
final analysis to either Scenario A or Scenario B).
One of the CIS states (but not Russia) undertakes "unifying"
functions. Several republics of the former USSR (without
Russia) move closer together. Integration processes begin
within the framework of this group of states. One option would
be development, whereby this gives definite impetus to
integration processes on the territory of the entire CIS, and
the original group becomes part of a general integrated area.
Another option would be that the group turns in on itself, which would inevitably push it toward
external "centers of influence." [Scenario C ends]
The influence of leading countries of the "far abroad" on
processes taking place in the CIS is indisputable and,
consequently, the scenario that the development of the situation
in the former USSR follows will, to a certain extent, depend on
In recent months there has been a wide divergence of
in the West about the future Commonwealth. A great deal will be
determined by which approach prevails: reliance on cooperation
with Russia as an equal partner (given the irreversibility of
democratization and the objective nature of the reintegration
processes on CIS territory) or reliance on a "monopolar" world
in which the Russian Federation is given the role of a country
with a very limited range of interests and tasks. The second
approach is unacceptable to Russia and, one way or another, it
will reject it.
But in the main, of course, the prospects for the CIS
on the Commonwealth countries themselves and, primarily, on the