Publication: Monitor Volume: 1 Issue: 92

Lt. General Aleksandr Lebed, a principal leader of the Congress of Russian Communities, sharply attacked the Russian foreign ministry, and Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev personally for "failures in their Balkan policy." Lebed said sarcastically that NATO air strikes on Bosnian Serb positions show the "real value" of Russian participation in the Partnership for Peace program, and in fact demonstrate that NATO, which was originally aimed against the USSR, is now primarily directed against Russia.

Lukin also warned the West against underestimating Russia and her potential for action in the former Yugoslavia. According to Lukin, Russians have always been brilliantly resourceful with their backs against the wall.

Georgi Arbatov, the veteran academician and expert on the USA who is considered a foreign policy moderate, charged that Yeltsin and Kozyrev had failed to impress upon the West how important it is to respect Russian interests in the Balkans, and that it would be costly to the West to lose Russia as a partner. Arbatov ascribed Russian diplomatic mistakes in the former Yugoslavia to Kozyrev’s incompetence and dilettantism. (1)

Fists Fly in Duma.