Aside from answering some questions about Yeltsin’s health, the Clinton administration had also made clear that it viewed the meeting with the Russian president as an opportunity to raise its concerns over the renewed violence in Chechnya. During a series of U.S. TV interviews prior to his meeting with Yeltsin, Gore had reiterated Washington’s position that "violence is not the answer" and that Moscow is "making a mistake and should return to the cease-fire." But Gore also intimated that he had been given assurances in Moscow that Russian policy in the Caucasus was being rethought, and that a cease-fire and a partial withdrawal of Russian troops might soon be in the offing. Against the backdrop of yesterday’s bloody developments in Chechnya, however, those assurances and others like them, given later to Gore by Yeltsin, rang hollow. Indeed, Yeltsin reportedly told Gore that while the Kremlin seeks negotiations to end the war, it is also "determined that any attacks from the other side be met with a vigorous response." Most observers blame Moscow for launching the current round of violence. (Reuter, Itar-Tass, AP, July 16)
Chubais’ Appointment Signals Profound Shift in Kremlin Power Constellation.