The Geneva row follows publication last week in Russia of several press commentaries charging that Russian IFOR troops deployed in Bosnia have been relegated to a humiliating subordinate role in the broader peace mission there. One commentary, which appeared March 13 in the respected Russian daily Segodnya, portrayed the commander of the Russian troops in Bosnia as a patsy of the IFOR command and virtually accused him of sabotaging Russian interests in the former Yugoslavia. A Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman, in response, was compelled March 14 to defend Russia’s participation in the peace implementation force. Adding fuel to the fire, meanwhile, was a Russian parliamentary delegation recently returned from Bosnia. It issued a press release that described NATO troops there as an occupation army and called for the Russian contingent to be redesignated as a UN force. (Interfax, March 14)
Zyuganov Unveils Platform, Gathers Support.