Monitor: Russian intervention

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International comment on the failure of Russian diplomacy to intervene effectively

Basler Zeitung


MILOSEVIC LAST June said to Primakov that he wanted to solve the problem in Kosovo "by political means". Against the peaceful population he would take "absolutely no repressive measures". President Boris Yeltsin praised this declaration to the heavens: "The whole world should see how we have come to an agreement, and there is no chance of going back on it." The whole world could see Milosevic's words weren't worth the paper they were written on. There is no reason why we should believe him now.


Los Angeles Times


BORIS YELTSIN demanded that Moscow's partners in the G8 group of industrialized nations urge Nato to stop the bombing. That will fall on deaf ears in the West and shows again that Russia finds itself largely on the outside in this conflict. Moscow has done little except bluster and order some surveillance ships into the Mediterranean. The Kremlin could help resolve the crisis, and absent such an effort, its relations with Washington will and should suffer.




NO LONGER considered the world's second superpower, Russia is no longer in a position to challenge the West and to threaten to intervene unless the Western offensive is halted. Instead of doing that, Moscow has taken the path of exerting diplomatic influence.

But Prime Minister Yevgeni Primakov's initiative in this direction has been a fiasco. During a single round of talks in Belgrade, the hope evaporated that Russian diplomacy can end the Kosovo drama and ensure a reconciliation between Milosevic and the West.