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The Independent Online
London - President Yeltsin's speech was seen in Britain as a reassuring sign of his commitment to reform and democracy in Russia but there was also disappointment at the tone of his rhetoric over the war in Chechnya, writes Michael Sheridan.

The Foreign Secretary, Douglas Hurd, had raised the issue with the Russian foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, at talks in Stockholm earlier this week. But there was little sign from Mr Yeltsin's speech that the message had made much impact on the Russian president.

British officials believe the effects of the Chechen war will hinder a wide range of negotiations between Russia and the European Union and Nato.