CNN - Chernomyrdin's peace efforts criticized by some Russians - June 3, 1999
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World - Europe

Chernomyrdin's peace efforts criticized by some Russians

June 3, 1999
Web posted at: 10:41 p.m. EDT (0241 GMT)

From Moscow Bureau Chief Jill Dougherty

MOSCOW (CNN) -- Weary from days of late-night diplomacy, Russian special envoy Viktor Chernomyrdin returned to Moscow from Belgrade on Thursday, saying, "We did everything that had to be done."

Chernomyrdin and the Balkan envoy from the European Union, Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, succeeded in getting Yugoslavia to accept a peace plan proposed by the Group of Eight -- the world's top seven industrialized nations and Russia.

Chernomyrdin told reporters that the basic results of the plan involve putting the peace efforts under the auspices of the United Nations. He said a resolution must be passed by the U.N. Security Council to carry out the agreement.

"Yugoslavia is whole and indivisible," he said. "Kosovo will be part of Yugoslavia and Kosovo will have wide autonomy and the safe return of the refugees and their living has been secured. And all of that will happen under the aegis of the U.N. That's the essence of what we accomplished at this stage -- bringing this into the legal purview of the United Nations."

But Russian military leaders warned that ambiguities in the agreement still need to be clarified.

"We, in the military, our hearts are not satisfied because there are a lot of unclear things," said Gen. Leonid Ivashov, a Russian parliament member. "A lot depends on the good faith of our partners in the political mediation."

If the Russian generals have their doubts, Russian politicians are even more skeptical of the plan.

Politicians on the left, including Communists, accuse the Russian special envoy of "selling out" Russian and Yugoslav interests to NATO.

"Chernomyrdin is known as an opportunist, the one who cares more about foreign interests than core Russian or Yugoslav interests," said Communist Party chief Gennady Zyuganov.

On the international stage, Chernomyrdin may have helped bring Europe to the verge of a peaceful solution to the Kosovo conflict. But he may pay a high price for it back home.

"I think Mr. Chernomyrdin will be very severely hit in Russian domestic politics because he certainly -- agreeing to this kind of agreement -- he certainly did not represent the mainstream of Russian thinking," said Russian political analyst Alexander Pushkov.

Now that he's sold a peace offer to Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, analysts say he must prove that he did it without compromising Russia's own interests.


RELATED STORIES:
Chernomyrdin: U.S., Russia 'closer' to Kosovo solution
May 3, 1999
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May 3, 1999
NATO airstrikes press on despite prisoner release
May 2, 1999
Two jets crash in Kosovo campaign
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More refugees pour into Albania, Macedonia
April 30, 1999

RELATED SITES:
Extensive list of Kosovo-related sites:
  • Kosovo

Related to the story:
  • Russia on The Web

Yugoslavia:
  • Federal Republic of Yugoslavia official site
      • Kesovo and Metohija facts
  • Serbia Ministry of Information
  • Serbia Now! News

Kosovo:
  • Kosova Crisis Center
  • Kosovo - from Albanian.com

Military:
  • F-117s arrive at Aviano to support possible NATO operations
  • NATO official site
  • BosniaLINK - U.S. Dept. of Defense
  • U.S. Navy images from Operation Allied Force
  • U.K. Ministry of Defence - Kosovo news
  • U.K. Royal Air Force - Kosovo news
  • Jane's Defence - Kosovo Crisis


Relief:
  • U.S. Agency for International Development (Kosovo aid)
  • Doctors of the World
  • InterAction
  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
  • International Committee of the Red Cross
  • Kosovo Humanitarian Disaster Forces Hundreds of Thousands from their Homes
  • Catholic Relief Services
  • Kosovo Relief
  • ReliefWeb: Home page
  • The Jewish Agency for Israel
  • Mercy International


Media:
  • Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
  • Independent Yugoslav radio stations B92
  • Institute for War and Peace Reporting
  • United States Information Agency - Kosovo Crisis


Other:
  • Expanded list of related sites on Kosovo
  • 1997 view of Kosovo from space - Eurimage
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