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Study Released on Post-Soviet Re-Integration

Moscow, May 24 (RFE/RL) -- A report prepared by leading Russian policy analysts says re-creation of a Moscow-led union of former Soviet states early next century looks "quite feasible" in the form of a voluntary confederation.

The report, first obtained and summarized last month by the American news magazine "Newsweek," is titled: "Will the Union Revive? Outlook for the Post-Soviet Space." The report was published in full yesterday in the independent Nezavisimaya Gazeta.

The authors include a number of reform-oriented analysts.

The report assesses "probability" of confederation, saying the "probability is fairly high" for Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Armenia. Probability, according to the report, is also relatively high for Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Georgia and Moldova, a bit lower for Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, while Latvia is very low, but the possibility of re-integration is not excluded.

The report says the probabilities for Estonia and Lithuania are almost fully excluded.

The report is signed by Sergei Karaganov, the Deputy Director of the Institute of Europe at the Russian Academy of Sciences. Among other authors are: Vitaly Tretyakov, editor-in-chief of Nezavisimaya Gazeta; and prominent State Duma deputies Alexei Arbatov, Irina Khakamada and Sergei Shakhrai. Others include members of the National Security Council, the Ministry of Defense and the Russian Institute of Strategic Studies.

The study says that only the formation of a new confederation could halt Russia's shrinking global influence.