FederationCouncil speaker Vladimir Shumeiko told a Moscow press conferenceafter his return from visits to Georgia, Azerbaijan and Armeniathat "without peace in the Caucasus, it will be impossibleto defend the strategic interests of Russia, Russian radio reportedJuly 18. In particular, he said, Russia required peace in Abkhaziaand Chechnya because pipelines pass through those territories.In other remarks, Shumeiko said that "from the point of viewof international law," the USSR had devolved into the "administrativeborders" of the republics and that as a result, one couldnot speak of Georgian "aggression" in Abkhazia or Russian"aggression" in Chechnya. He said that Russia shouldnot "flirt with separatists." "Let diplomats dothe flirting; that is their job," Shumeiko said.
…But May Not Find It at Home.