Russia Today - "Russia's Chechnya drive 'sowing seeds' of further conflict"

LONDON, Dec 27, 1999 -- (AFP) Russia' military operation in Chechnya is "sowing the seeds of further ethnic conflict" and should be abandoned in favor of a political solution, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said Monday.

"The main thing for Russia to recognize -- what we in many countries in the West have recognized -- is that there is no military solution on its own against terrorism," Robertson said in an interview with the BBC.

"A political track must be found," he stressed.

"The international community, not only the West, has been making it clear that what Russia is doing is not only bad in principle, but it is bad in practice, because it is making an enemy of the civilian population (and) sowing the seeds of further ethnic conflict in the future," Robertson said.

Heavily-armed Russian units began a cautious advance Saturday into Grozny, where they encountered stiff resistance on the southern outskirts.

Russian forces launched a drive against Chechen separatists in September.

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