Commonwealth Grapples with Property Disputes Russian-German-US Deal Aims to Put Former Soviet Nuclear Scientists to Work on Peace Conversions, but Differences over Arms Reduction Treaties Linger

By Daniel Sneider, writer of The Christian Science Monitor | The Christian Science Monitor, February 18, 1992 | Go to article overview
Save to active project

Commonwealth Grapples with Property Disputes Russian-German-US Deal Aims to Put Former Soviet Nuclear Scientists to Work on Peace Conversions, but Differences over Arms Reduction Treaties Linger


Daniel Sneider, writer of The Christian Science Monitor, The Christian Science Monitor


THE marriage of the former Soviet republics in a Commonwealth of Independent States is threatening to be short-lived. The monthly summits of its leaders, like the one that took place Friday in Minsk, increasingly resemble divorce proceedings.

Belarus leader and host Stanislav Shushkevich tried to put the best face on the disagreement when the Minsk meeting ended, as almost every previous session has, with very little in the way of substantive agreements.

"Yesterday, as never before, we understood that the Commonwealth of Independent States is the structure without which we will never survive," he told reporters on Saturday.

The former Communist daily Pravda greeted such pronouncements with skepticism yesterday. "No matter what optimistic politicians say, speaking in everyday language, they are ensuring not the process of marriage, the creation of a single family, but a process of divorce, the division of everything."

When it comes to the "family" property, nothing is more valuable than the 3.7 million-soldier Red Army, long the symbol and substance of the former Soviet Union's claim to be a superpower. The Minsk meeting failed to reach consensus on 13 agreements designed to maintain a common military for at least a transitional period, including forming a common defense budget.

Such battles over property have made it practically impossible for the commonwealth states to do what they have repeatedly pledged at their meetings - fulfill the international arms treaties signed by the Soviet Union, particularly the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and the treaty to reduce Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE). At Friday's meeting, commonwealth members delayed ratification of these treaties until at least March 20, when another commonwealth summit will be held in Kiev to try to resolve the defense issues.

"The regular round of negotiations in Minsk regarding military issues has concluded with the birth of new problems," the Russian government daily Rossiskaya Gazeta said yesterday. "The sides did not manage to form a common military space. The West and the US have grounds to worry; the fate of strategic nuclear forces is still unpredictable."

Such concerns clearly drove the announcement here yesterday, following talks between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and United States Secretary of State James Baker III, of creation of a joint center in Russia to employ former Soviet arms scientists, whom the leaders fear could sell their skills to other countries. The agreement, also joined by Germany, will fund research aimed at aiding the conversion of former Soviet defense industries to civilian purposes. The US will contribute $25 million and private investment will be solicited.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited article

Commonwealth Grapples with Property Disputes Russian-German-US Deal Aims to Put Former Soviet Nuclear Scientists to Work on Peace Conversions, but Differences over Arms Reduction Treaties Linger
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?