News Release

Russia and Negotiations

The following analysts are available for comment on Russia and possibilities for negotiations:

DAVID KOTZ
Co-author of Revolution From Above: The Demise of the Soviet System and professor of economics at the University of Massachusetts, Kotz said: “The U.S. is trying to use Russia as a club to pressure Milosevic to submit to U.S. demands, rather than taking Russia up on its offer to serve as a genuine mediator to reach a compromise. Russia’s indebtedness to the IMF makes it appear that they can be pressured into acting as an agent for NATO. This is a very risky game to play, since the bombing has united the Russians like nothing before. It’s likely to further alienate the Russians, and a government could come to power that is hostile to the United States. The ties between Russia and the Serbians are not just an ethnic and religious bond; it’s also a long political history of alliance. There’s also Russia’s fear that this shows the expansion of NATO really is a threat to Russia’s national security. The U.S. gave virtually no weight to Russian objections to the bombing. It has crystalized anger at how they’ve been treated by the West. In Russia, you are seeing the first real sense of anti-Americanism since the demise of the Soviet Union.”

DAN GOURE
Deputy director for political and military studies at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, MSNBC military analyst and former Bush administration Pentagon official, Goure criticized the Rambouillet meetings that led up to the start of bombing in March: “Rambouillet constituted a significant compromising of Yugoslavian sovereignty over and above the issue of control of Kosovo. The administration went to Rambouillet basically to arrange a trap for Milosevic. It was a no-win situation for him — and frankly, Albright was basically trying to find a pretext for bombing. They told the Kosovar Albanians that if they signed and Milosevic didn’t, they’d bomb Serbia. Rambouillet was not a negotiation, it was a set-up, a lynch party… The administration’s current position is to continue to use the refugee situation as a basis for justifying their hardline political approach in dealing with Milosevic.”

ROBERT HAYDEN
Director of the Center for Russian and East European Studies at the University of Pittsburgh, Hayden is an expert on Yugoslavia and is knowledgeable about the Rambouillet text.

Note: The Rambouillet text (including key overlooked provisions in Appendix B), which Senate majority whip Don Nickles called a “disaster” yesterday, is available at the State Department’s website.

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy: Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167