New Russia/NATO partnership closer

The Secretary-General of NATO, the Scotsman Lord George Robertson, is currently on a three-day tour of the Russian Federation. He commented on the Chechnya question on the first day of his tour, on Thursday, in Volgograd.

“We must continue to express our deep preoccupation, not regarding the objectives of the Russian campaign in Chechnya, but due to the means used and their effect on innocent civilians”.

“In recent months, for obvious reasons, we have become more conscious of the connection between the Chechen extremists and terrorism and we appeal to the Chechens to suspend these relations”.

He declared that Russia and NATO “must continue to dialogue, as friends, about questions such as this, the war in Chechnya”.

Lord Robertson came to the Russian Federation one week after British prime Minister Tony Blair suggested that there should be a new formula for Russia to have more of a say in the NATO decision-making process.

The new organism will allow Moscow to participate in NATO’s decisions through a Russia-NATO Conference. “Russia and NATO will discuss specific matters in this Council. Russia will be part of the scene, which will give her the right of equality, but also a new degree of responsibility”, declared Robertson.

Such a partnership “will mean a great change of attitude from both sides”, he added.

Comments on civilian casualties from NATO would be better kept to themselves, since this organisation has more innocent civilian blood on its hands than the Russian Armed Forces, engaged in a long war against terrorists.


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