World leaders continued to walk a tightrope yesterday as they criticized Chechen hostage-takers while admonishing Moscow to abandon its brutal response to the crisis. The most serious repercussions for Moscow may come from Germany and the Council of Europe. German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel underscored Bonn’s growing unease by urging the Chechens to release their hostages while charging that Moscow’s military actions at Pervomaiskoye had contributed to the escalation of hostilities. Meanwhile, Council of Europe officials were quoted yesterday as saying that Russia’s military actions in Chechnya could jeopardize Moscow’s application to join the Council. The 38-nation group is scheduled to vote January 25 on Russia’s membership bid. Russia’s application was frozen for seven months in 1995 due to outrage over the invasion of Chechnya. The freeze was lifted in September, and it was thought that Russia had reason to anticipate a successful vote. (11)
Estonia’s Orthodox Church to Regain Previous Affiliation.