Berlin, 7 June 2002 (RFE/RL) -- German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer today criticized the behavior of Russia's armed forces in the breakaway region of Chechnya as "unacceptable." Fischer told a news conference presenting the German government's annual report on human rights that the situation in Chechnya "continues to raise great concerns."
He said that what he called "unacceptable actions" of Russian troops against civilians should be halted. Fischer added that finding a political solution for Chechnya was of "crucial importance" for Russian democracy.
Russia has compared its fight with separatist rebels in the breakaway Chechen republic to the U.S. war against terrorism in Afghanistan. But independent human rights organizations have criticized Moscow for numerous alleged violations committed by Russian forces against civilians in the republic.