According to an aide to Grachev, the telephone consultation took place Monday. Grachev reportedly informed Secretary William Perry of Moscow’s position, said that "NATO actions virtually exceeded the U.N. peacekeeping mandate in the region," and emphasized "the unacceptability of resuming air and artillery strikes and military operations against the Bosnian Serbs." The two officials reportedly agreed to continue their consultations. (1) Even Russian defense ministers do not make it a practice of reading counterparts’ press statements over a "hot line." Grachev’s lecture is part of a coordinated public relations gambit by the foreign and defense Ministries to have their cake and eat it, too. Russia wants a role in the negotiations which the bombing was meant to jump start, while getting credit at home and abroad for forcing an end to NATO’s "senseless bombing." Grachev’s tough talk, like Yeltsin’s late last week, is principally designed to placate angry Duma and other domestic critics by purporting to show that Russia is still a great state that can bring even a superpower "back to its senses."
Reassuring Military Exercise