Amid reports of escalating levels of Russian brutality in Chechnya, Washington called March 29 for an end to "indiscriminate and excessive" use of military force and for the adoption of peaceful methods to resolve the conflict. "We continue to be appalled by the very considerable loss of life and injuries being inflicted on noncombatants in Chechnya," a State Department spokesman said. (Reuter, March 29) The strong statement contrasted with the Clinton administration’s recent silence on Chechnya. Despite fierce fighting there during his recent visit to Moscow, U.S. secretary of state Warren Christopher reportedly did not raise the issue in talks with Russian leaders.
The White House also reacted cautiously to Boris Yeltsin’s announcement yesterday of a plan for halting Russian military actions in Chechnya. While welcoming the initiative, a spokesman said that Washington would be observing Moscow’s "execution" of the peace plan. U.S. National Security Adviser Anthony Lake is to address the issue of Chechnya during a talk today on Russian-U.S. relations, the spokesman added. (Reuter, March 31)
Moscow Scolds United States over Leaked Documents.