Western analysts have beeome inereasingly alarmed with Russia's assertive foreign poliey-in both the eeonomie and the politieal/strategie spheres--toward the new states of the former Soviet Union. Many have eited Russia's military interventions in Georgia, Tajikistan, and Moldova as signals of Russia's new imperialist designs. Russian poliey toward the Baltie states has also spurred alarm. While Russian troops pulled out of the Baltie states as planned, the Russian Foreign Ministry has nonetheless threatened eeonomie sanetions against Estonia and Latvia if citizenship rights for Russians are not further delineated in these states. 1 Beyond the territory ofthe former Soviet Union, Russian assertiveness regarding sanctions against Serbia, NATO expansion, and arms trade with developing countries has eompelled several analysts to speak of a renewal of Russian expansionist tendencies and hence areturn ofCold War tension between West and East. 2

Regarding foreign eeonomic issues, Russia also has begun to assert its hegemonie position among the former Soviet eeonomies. Russia and Belams have moved increasingly c10ser to an economie reuniting of their economies. While Russia has slowed the process of integration until Belarus's economic situation improves,3 Belamsian President Aliaksandr Lukashenka has nonetheless made the liquidation of the Belarusian-Russian border his primary agenda item of his presidency.4 Perhaps most significantly, Russia convened a summit of premiers from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) in August 1994, at which they agreed to revive the Interstate Economic Committee (MEK) as a supranational institution to regulate economic activity between the former republics of the Soviet Union.5 As explained by Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, the MEK eventually will serve the same functions as the European Union, including the creation of a free trade zone, a convertible currency, and guidelines for

governing assets whose property rights have not been c1early delineated between states (i.e., railroads). While supranational deeisions will still need 80 percent approval, Russia will control 50 percent of a11 votes.6