Russia seen from abroad

There are four main stories concerning Russia this Easter in the Western press, two concerning Chechnya, one about Pavel Borodin and the other, Russia’s official foreign policy on the situation in Yugoslavia. The visit of President Vladimir Putin to Chechnya is much publicised both in the newspapers and on t.v., as his visit to Grozny comes one year after heavy losses suffered by Russian paratroops fighting Chechen separatist terrorists. This visit comes as the news breaks over the death of a pro-Russian Chechen leader, Jasmagomed Deniev. Deniev, the deputy-leader of the provisory pro-Russian Chechen government, was killed by a bomb in Avtury, eastern Chechnya, as he was giving an interview at a television studio. As Russia pays a bond of 200,000 USD to the Swiss Canton of Geneva, Pavel Borodin is released from jail and flies back to Moscow on a direct Aeroflot flight to spend Easter at home. Having been extradited from the USA after a request by the Canton of Geneva, regarding investigations into 22 million USD of secretive commissions and money laundering, the Russian authorities finally achieve their aim to secure the release of Mr. Borodin. The final story defines Russia’s position on Yugoslavia very clearly, once and for all. The Russian Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, states that the fate of ex-President Slobodan Milosevic is an issue which belongs to the internal affairs of Yugoslavia. He is quoted as saying: “We do not know what are the main charges or how the problem is being treated there. It is in the hands of Yugoslav justice and only this system can take the respective decision, without any influence from abroad”.


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