Why Not Move The Government?

Boris Yeltsin and friends seem to be losing their enthusiasm for Minsk. When the leaders of the three Slavic republics announced the replacement of the Soviet Union by a Commonwealth of Independent States on Dec. 8, they declared that the Commonwealth's seat of government would be Minsk. Minsk? Minsk, the capital of Belorussia, is 400 miles southwest of Moscow. It was a way of signaling the break between the old union and the new Commonwealth.

But now the Commonwealth itself seems to be faltering, and talk of moving the central functions of government to Minsk is dying out. Perhaps disagreements among...

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