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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Army Pact Plan Ridiculed

Representatives of several former Soviet republics reacted with deep skepticism Tuesday to a resolution proposing that Russian soldiers should be able to contract out their services to some foreign armies.

"We have no Russian soldiers in our army and we never will", said Vladimir Kryzhanovsky, Ukraine's ambassador to Moscow.

The Congress of People's Deputies passed a resolution Monday recommending that Russian soldiers be permitted to sign contracts with the national armies of other states of the former Soviet Union to help them build up their military structures.

Like other efforts at substantial military cooperation, however, the proposal drew a cool reaction from the ex-Soviet republics.

"There is no question of Russian

soldiers joining the Lithuanian Army", said Richardas Degegudis, political counsellor in the Lithuanian embassy. "First of all, we will not have foreign citizens in our army, and secondly, our relations with Russia and recent history make it impossible".

The proposal was mainly directed at Armenia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan - all of which have signed military cooperation agreements with Russia.

Many conservative deputies want to see the army play a more active role in conflicts along Russia's borders and in protecting the 25 million Russian citizens who live in the former Soviet republics from discrimination.

Under a compromise deal offered by President Yeltsin on Tuesday, the defense and foreign ministers could from now on be subject to approval by the legislature, giving the deputies more power to direct military policy.