Russian Crisis: The West unites in its support for President
Tuesday 05 October 1993
John Major said, after being briefed by the Russian ambassador to London, Boris Pankin: 'I do not believe over the last day or so that President Yeltsin had any choice but to act as he did and I very much admire his restraint over recent months. There should be no doubt that he has our total and unequivocal support for the action that he has taken.'
A meeting of European Community foreign ministers in Luxembourg put on a show of unity with a strongly worded declaration of support. While deploring the loss of life in Moscow, they put the blame entirely on Mr Yeltsin's opponents. 'Elements hostile to the democratisation process in Russia carry a heavy responsibility, for having deliberately provoked violence in the Russian parliament and in different parts of the capital,' the Twelve said.
Douglas Hurd, the Foreign Secretary, called Mr Yeltsin's use of force 'proportionate and justified', adding: 'What President Yeltsin needs . . . is proof for his people that we in the West understand the nature of the problem, how it occurred, and that it was necessary to deal with it firmly and quickly.'
Mr Hurd added that there was no question of reassessing this stance in the light of future events. 'The use of force has been decisive, necessary, to deal with this revolt,' he said. 'There is no reason to suppose that repression will go beyond what is needed to deal with a localised revolt.'
Mr Hurd said that negotiations on an EC-Russian partnership agreement on a free-trade area would now be accelerated. A special summit will be brought forward to this month, even though the agreement will not be ready in time. Mr Hurd also said Russian reservations over the enlargement of Nato should be taken into consideration, though he was careful not to say that these should block new members in Central Europe.
Mr Hurd confirmed that during lunch a message had been received from Ruslan Khasbulatov and Alexander Rutskoi asking for guarantees of safety if they surrendered. It had been passed via Italian journalists to the Belgian ambassador. It had simply been bounced back to Moscow, which had said there would be no summary executions.
China was the only big power to hedge its bets. 'We are deeply concerned about the recent bloodshed in Moscow,' the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. 'As a friendly neighbour, we hope to see an end to the conflict and a proper solution to the current situation in the interest of the stability, unity and economic recovery and development of Russia.'
President Sali Berisha of Albania said: 'I am sure there was no other solution. There is no doubt that President's Yeltsin's reaction . . . is a fully legal act which aims at re-establishing order and calm.'
- 1 Fifty Shades of Grey trailer: First look at Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey
- 2 Is Gideon Levy the most hated man in Israel or just the most heroic?
- 3 50 books for students to read this summer: From Ernest Hemingway to Gillian Flynn
- 4 Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
- 5 Israel has discovered that it's no longer so easy to get away with murder in the age of social media
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israeli targeting policy under scrutiny after shellfire hits a mother and child, a school full of refugees and a doctor’s home
Peaches Geldof: Her final day – and her fatal decision
Students offered grants if they tweet pro-Israeli propaganda
Iraq crisis: Isis orders Mosul shop keepers to cover mannequins
Israel-Gaza conflict: Israel may have committed war crimes, says UN human rights chief
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Vladimir Putin is given 'one last chance' to end hostilities in Ukraine
The 'scroungers’ fight back: The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Ukrainian military jet was flying close to passenger plane before it was shot down, says Russian officer
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an enthusias...
£120 per day: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you an enthusiastic Maths Tea...
£21804 - £31868 per annum: Randstad Education Chelmsford: Are you a dynamic En...