Thursday, 25 November, 1999, BBC:

              No 'Cold War' over Chechnya 


              The United States has signalled that it does not want
              to link international aid to Russia with the war in

* That would be embarrassing. For its own imperialist reasons the USA would
rather appease Russian aggression against the right of the Chechens to

                            US Secretary of State,
                            Madeleine Albright, said that the
                            war in Chechnya must not be
                            allowed to damage relations
                            between Russia and the West,
              and turn Russia back into a Cold War enemy. 

* Naturally not, it would rather allow Russia to develop as a
sub-imperialism so long as it can be run by Yeltsin and the oligarchs in
alliance with western imperialism. 

              She was speaking after Russian Prime Minister
              Vladimir Putin ordered more than $100m be added
              to the Chechnya war budget. 

              Some US officials have recently suggested
              Washington might block International Monetary
              Fund (IMF) loans if Russian military action in
              Chechnya intensified. 

              Mrs Albright said that the
              two issues, of IMF loans
              and the war, should be
              kept separate. 

              "We believe it is very
              important for there to be
              economic stability in
              Russia. That is in our national interest," she said. 

              "The last thing I think that we should be doing is
              trying to turn Russia back into an enemy. We spent
              50 years in that mode." 

              She added that the recent 10th anniversary of the
              fall of the Berlin Wall "made it apparent to me one
              more time how much time was lost during the Cold

              Mrs Albright reiterated that the Chechen conflict
              should be solved through political dialogue. 

              Our correspondent in Washington, Richard Lister,
              says this is a politically awkward situation for

* Ha!

              The US is facing an uncomfortable choice. Either it
              can give financial support to a government whose
              military tactics it roundly condemns, or withhold
              assistance and jeopardise both relations with Russia
              and the economic stability of the region as a whole. 

              The army was promised the extra funds in October,
              but the IMF warned that it would suspend help if
              military spending ran out of control. 

* How embarrassing!

Chris Burford


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