Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 143

U.S. secretary of state Warren Christopher told reporters yesterday that he would raise the issue of Chechnya with his Russian counterpart, Yevgeny Primakov, during talks between the two scheduled for today in Jakarta. The two men are in the Indonesian capital for the annual meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). "I certainly will bring it up and I hope our raising it again will bring to their attention the importance of finding a political solution to the problem," Christopher said.

When U.S. vice president Al Gore visited Moscow recently, he expressed U.S. concerns over Russian military operations in Chechnya to both Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and Russian president Boris Yeltsin. Christopher was asked why those actions had apparently exerted so little influence on Russian policy. "I think we should never judge the question ‘whether we raise it’ by whether or not we get instant gratification," he responded. He added that Washington would continue to bring the issue up in talks with Russian leaders. The Clinton administration has been markedly more aggressive in criticizing Russian actions in Chechnya since Boris Yeltsin’s victory in the Russian presidential election. In addition to Chechnya, Christopher and Primakov are expected to discuss European security and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. (Reuter, July 22)

Active Day for Primakov in Jakarta.