In aJapanese press interview, cited by Izvestiya on August10, Yeltsin warned that should the US lift the arms embargo onBosnia, Russia reserves the right to sell arms to the Serbs. Healso defended the Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and militarycommander General Ratko Mladic against the charges brought againstthem by the UN War Crimes tribunal. Kozyrev’s letter to BoutrosBoutros-Ghali accused Croatia of perpetrating in Krajina "ahuman tragedy unseen since the beginning of the Yugoslav conflict,"and urged placing Croatia under "political pressure"and "international supervision" to protect the Serbs.The document’s phrasing repeatedly questioned Croatia’s legaltitle to Krajina, and also attacked unnamed Western states for"encouraging" Croatia’s action in Krajina. And in astatement reported by Interfax August 9, Patriarch Aleksii II,the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, similarly branded Croatia’saction a "crime" of ethnic cleansing and accused theWest of co-responsibility.
Contrary to the charges by Russia’s top political and spiritualleaders, Ukraine’s embassy in Zagreb told Interfax-Ukraine that"the Croatian government’s policy toward ethnic minoritiesdoes not provide any grounds for accusing it of oppression."Meanwhile at the UN Security Council, Russia’s draft resolutiondemanding Croatia’s withdrawal from Krajina and threatening economicsanctions for noncompliance was rejected by Western countries,German foreign minister Klaus Kinkel told the Koelner StadtanzeigerAugust 9.
New Uncertainties in Chechnya