German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel has reportedly demanded that Moscow grant Chechnya considerable autonomy within the framework of the Russian Constitution and expressed Bonn’s displeasure over the resumption of military operations in the Caucasus following Russia’s presidential election. Kinkel’s strong words were delivered to Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov during a meeting between the two in Paris on the eve of the G-7 summit, the German embassy in Moscow said yesterday. Kinkel reportedly added that the conflict could be resolved only at the negotiating table and called upon both sides to make good use of OSCE mediation. Primakov was said to have responded that terrorist acts by the Chechen rebels, both inside of Chechnya and in other regions of Russia, have hindered the progress of peace talks.
The two men also discussed NATO enlargement and Bosnia. Primakov repeated Moscow’s standard argument that it opposes the extension of NATO’s military infrastructure to Russia’s borders. Both sides agreed that partnership between NATO and Russia must serve as a key pillar of any future European security architecture. (Interfax, July 30) On Bosnia, Primakov repeated Moscow’s equally well-worn position that efforts to arrest Bosnian Serb leaders would serve little purpose and could actually undermine Bosnia’s upcoming elections. (Itar-Tass, July 30)
Chubais Sets Up in Kremlin.