Letter: Role for Russia

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Role for Russia

Sir: At a time when Nato is, indeed, "over-dependent on coercion to bring this war to an early conclusion" (Lawrence Freedman, 14 April), it is never too late to focus again on diplomatic avenues. Russia is in a unique position to bring its influence to bear on Mr Milosevic, a fact acknowledged by the Nato Secretary General, Javier Solana, who, along with Robin Cook and others, has called for Russia to be drawn into efforts to find a solution to the Kosovo crisis.

The appointment of the former Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin as President Yeltsin's "special representative on the settlement of the situation around Yugoslavia", gives a new impetus to the political process.

Your editorial of 13 April was correct to mention one essential precondition, namely that "Western governments must announce that the external borders of Yugoslavia are not in question." Maybe then, all this talk of a ground force invasion to set up a Nato protectorate can be put to one side and real pressure applied to Belgrade to compromise.