Moscow DMZ: The Story of the International Effort to Convert Russian Weapons Science to Peaceful Purposes

By Glenn E. Schweitzer | Go to book overview

Chapter 3

Diplomatic Dodges
Around the Parliament

Nothing is more permanent than that which is temporary.
A modern Russian proverb


A Funeral Pyre for the Center

The initial reaction at the Pulse Institute to the dismissal of the Russian Supreme Soviet by President Yeltsin was cautious relief that the major roadblock to the ISTC was history. The Russian staff members pointed out that Yeltsin had already signed two decrees supporting the establishment of the Center. According to their logic, the simple solution was for him now to pen a third document that would establish the Center immediately. They added that all the decree needed to say to comply with the entry-into-force provision of the ISTC Agreement was that Russia had completed "the necessary internal procedures" to bring the Center into existence. 1

Of course, the upper levels of the Russian government were in a state of disarray trying to find their way through the political fallout from the abolition of the parliament. Many of the former deputies of the parliament refused to leave their offices in the White House, and several of the leaders threatened to depose the president by whatever means necessary. Thus, the ISTC was not near the top of the government's agenda.

Soon the White House became the center of a military insurrection, as automatic rifles and machine guns somehow made their way through clandestine routes to the ensconced legislators and their legions of supporters. During my frequent visits to the American Embassy just across the street from the White House, I repeatedly encountered angry demonstrators armed with communist flags, post-

-60-

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