Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said
on 18 January that the situation in Tajikistan is developing "in the
right direction," although "painfully, with difficulty,"
Asia Plus Blitz reported. Ivanov was speaking after talks with UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan's Special Representative in Tajikistan, Ivo Petrov (see "RFE/RL
Newsline," 18 January 2000). In an interview published in "Kommersant"
on 18 January, Petrov too said the present situation in Tajikistan is far
more stable than six or 12 months ago. But he added that a UN presence
will be needed in Tajikistan even after the expiry in May 2000 of the UN
observer force's mandate, as there are still numerous armed formations
in Tajikistan that are subordinate neither to the government nor to the
United Tajik Opposition. LF
=A9 2000 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights