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1994 - Mr Major’s Comments on Russia

Below is the text of Mr Major’s comments on Russia, made during an interview given in Moscow on Thursday 15th February 1994.


QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if the Russian leadership felt left out over Bosnia].

PRIME MINISTER:

No, I don’t think that is remotely the feeling from the discussions I had this morning. There is a vast range of areas where there is complete agreement and has been for some time between Russia, the United States and the other Western Allies over how to deal with the problems of Bosnia. There has, for example, been complete agreement that the only final settlement is going to come about as a result of negotiation; that needs to be so if it is to be a political settlement that will last. There is complete agreement about the need to corral the heavy weapons around Sarajevo and complete agreement that the Owen/Stoltenberg route is the way forward and there is also complete agreement that Russia, the United States and the European Community countries need to use their political influence separately upon the combatants in this dreadful dispute to try and help bring it to an end.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked about Boris Yeltsin’s comments that Russia needed to be part of the solution”.

PRIME MINISTER:

He was referring then to a final political settlement and of course Russia is going be involved in it because of the special influence it has.

QUESTION:

[Mr Major was asked if Russia still disagreed with the policy of air strikes].

PRIME MINISTER:

No. I think there is a much greater understanding of what the position is as a result of our discussions this morning, his previous discussions with President Clinton and also of course the debate that is currently going on in the United Nations. There was, I think, a fear earlier that what NATO was talking about was generalised air strikes. We are in fact looking at specific air strikes specifically in regard to the particular circumstances of Sarajevo.