Russia, fighting for a strong role in a new Europe, blocked criticism of Bosnian Serbs at a security summit Tuesday but agreed to a new peace-keeping force for a troubled former Soviet republic.
Representatives from the 52-nation Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe wrapped up a final document mapping out future strategy for preventing conflicts in Europe.A new chill between Moscow and the West, however, hampered progress on some issues, five years after the collapse of the Berlin Wall.
Former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze, who played a key role in ending communist rule in eastern Europe, voiced the fears of new nations feeling their way after their Cold War.
"We are living through such a frightening peace because the Cold War has not yet rid us of its legacy," said Shevardnadze, now president of Georgia, riven by ethnic war. "The (Cold) War is over," he said. "Beware of the peace."
Invoking the Bosnian war raging 300 miles away, world leaders agreed at Monday's opening session that increased CSCE powers were necessary. And President Alija Izetbegovic of Bosnia berated the West for not stopping the carnage that has left 200,000 dead and missing.
But all language on the former Yugoslavia - including a strong condemnation of Serb attacks on the U.N. "safe area" of Bihac in northwest Bosnia - was excised from the final document at the insistence of Moscow, a traditional ally of Serbia.
"The Russians blocked everything," chief Bosnian delegate Mahir Hadziahmetovic said Tuesday. "That means there will be nothing in the final document on the most burning crisis in Europe. I think it's a failure of the CSCE."
In separate comments, Hadziahmetovic assailed the world for its inaction.
"You allow the strangulation and aggression of our people," he said. "You allow the Serbs to make a mockery of the international community."
He jeered at a face-saving Hungarian resolution to appeal for a cease-fire and humanitarian assistance. "My country is not facing a natural disaster," he said. "We are facing aggression."
Moscow's fears of losing influence in a changing Europe led Boris Yeltsin to accuse the United States and NATO of trying to exclude and isolate his country.
"Why sow the seeds of mistrust? After all, we are no longer enemies - we are all partners now," the Russian president said at Monday's opening session, where he attacked NATO's plans to admit other former Warsaw Pact nations.
Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev of Russia toned down the anti-West rhetoric in an interview Tuesday with Associated Press Television.
"There is evident difference on accents and approaches, (but) we're sticking to partnership and we will find (common) ways," he said.
The CSCE represents the United States, Russia, Canada and most European nations. Created in 1975, it was the only forum where NATO and the Warsaw Pact came together to discuss security and human rights.
On the plus side of the ledger was agreement to create the CSCE's first peacekeeping force, to police an uneasy cease-fire in Nagorno-Karabakh, an ethnic Armenian enclave in former Soviet Azerbaijan.