'Nato can't stop war in Chechnya'

BRUSSELS, December 7 (Itar-Tass) - NATO cannot stop the war in Chechnya, because that war is underway within the Russian borders, Secretary General of the North Atlantic Alliance George Robertson told the Belgian "Le Soir" newspaper. His interview was published on Tuesday.

The war started as a result of monstrous provocations and a lengthy period of complete lawfulness in that part of Russia, he noted. Leaders of the NATO member-countries called primarily to pay attention to the humanitarian crisis prompted by the war, to seek rather political than military solution, and, finally, do everything to prevent the war's spread outside the borders of Chechnya, Robertson remarked.

In his words, Russia behaves differently in Chechnya as compared to the situation two years ago. This time Russia is much more cautious and, Robertson believes, that is caused by taking into account the opinion of foreign leaders. According to Robertson, Russia listens to advice and they will continue trying to put pressure on it. President Yeltsin came to Istanbul when everyone thought he would not show up, and he listened to the people who thought he would not listen to them, Robertson said. Although there were still problems with the access of the OSCE mission to Chechnya, OSCE Chairman Knut Vollebaek assured Robertson last week that Russia would yield to the pressure of the organization whose member it was.

The storm of Grozny, which happened before, differed from the current developments, the NATO chief said. The Russians abstain from the temptation of storms of towns, and they are trying to explain their moves and reasons why the situation is so serious -- the laws have been trampled upon, the kidnaps have been mounting and they have had no alternative to restoring order in that part of the Caucasus, Robertson remarked.

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