Following a telephone conversation yesterday with his Syrian counterpart, Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov said that Moscow and Damascus were united in their condemnation of Israel’s military operations in Lebanon. According to Russian TV, Primakov described the Israeli actions as "inadmissible, insofar as they undermine Lebanon’s sovereignty, are damaging to the civilian population… and could threaten the very process of Arab-Israeli reconciliation." He reportedly met with Israel’s ambassador to Russia later in the day, at which time he urged Israel to show restraint in its military operations. (Itar-Tass, "Vremya," April 17) Also yesterday, the Communist party faction in the Russian Duma urged the parliament and the Russian government to denounce Israel’s bombing of Lebanon and to support Lebanon’s demand for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. (Interfax, April 17)
Grigory Yavlinsky at Center of Pre-Election Negotiations.