Russianforeign minister Andrei Kozyrev told a Moscow press conferenceJuly 17 that "there is a risk of a merger between criminaland government structures" in Russia but he rejected anyWestern criticism of what Moscow is doing, Interfax reported July17. He added that the Council of Europe should admit Russia quicklydespite its internal problems. But when he signed the interimtrade agreement with the European Union, Kozyrev suggested thatthe accord could bring Russian billions of dollars in aid andinvestment. In other remarks, Kozyrev suggested that Russia shouldnot be so concerned about what the West thinks in solving theChechen problem and that he agreed with Federation Council speakerVladimir Shumeiko that Abkhaz and Chechen leaders should be scornedas outlaws.
Karaganov Warns Against Excluding Russia from Europe.