Wednesday, June 9, 1999 Published at 13:24 GMT 14:24 UK
Russia still suspicious on Kosovo
Albright and Ivanov: All smiles but Russian suspicions remain
By BBC Russian Affairs Analyst, Tom de Waal.
Russia is still not celebrating the Kosovo peace agreement.
The subject is still a long way down TV news bulletins, and President Yeltsin has so far pointedly refrained from congratulating his own special envoy, Viktor Chernomyrdin, for his part in negotiating a peace deal.
Instead, Mr Yeltsin has repeated his demand that the Nato bombing campaign must end immediately. Only, it seems, when the bombing stops will Mr Yeltsin declare that peace has been achieved.
Chernomyrdin exposed to criticism
Mr Yeltsin's silence has left Mr Chernomyrdin exposed to barbed criticism from the opposition and the press.
One conservative newspaper, Nezavisimaya Gazeta, attacked the former prime minister for signing what it called a "Munich Agreement," which allowed Nato to annex Serbian territory.
The Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, repeated on Wednesday that relations with the West had been badly damaged by the whole Kosovo crisis; it would, he said, take a long time to rebuild them.
Problems over command structure
Russia and Nato also have yet to agree on the command structure of a peacekeeping force for Kosovo.
This is a difficult issue for the Russian military, many of whom still see Nato as the old enemy.
They will reject any chain of command which makes them subordinate to a Nato commander, and they will not be happy with the assertion by the US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, that Russia will not have its own sector of control in Kosovo.
As ever, it is lack of money that undermines Russia's negotiating hand.
In stark contrast to Nato, Russia is not ready to send its 10,000 or so troops to Kosovo, and when they do arrive, they will be worse equipped and prepared for their role than their Nato counterparts.