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EU-Russia spat over hostage crisis comments
EuBusiness ^ | 09/04/04 | EuBusiness

Posted on 09/04/2004 10:09:26 AM PDT by Pikamax

EU-Russia spat over hostage crisis comments

04 September 2004

Russia lashed out Saturday at the European Union (EU)'s Dutch presidency over its call for an explanation from Moscow about the handling of the North Ossetia school hostage crisis that left 322 people dead, half of them children.

A spokesman for Dutch Foreign Minister Bernard Bot immediately sought to clarify what he said was a "misunderstanding" over comments made by the minister on Friday, shortly after the bloody end to the standoff.

"The Russians apparently think we were sitting on a high horse and demanding explanations or something. But that was not the case," Bot's spokesman Bart Jochems told AFP.

That reaction came after the Russian foreign ministry issued a scorching statement saying: "The inappropriate comments of the Dutch minister are, to say the least, odious, and for the large part deeply offensive." Russia was "bewildered and outraged" by the comments, it added.

In the disputed remarks, made in a written statement issued late Friday, the Dutch minister said that: "All countries in the world need to work together to prevent tragedies like this.

"But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened," he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday the comments were "insolent." "To put it mildly, the Dutch minister's comments give rise to (Russia's) astonishment."

"The tragedy lasted three days and was broadcast live in full detail by television channels, and it is clear to everyone that it was the terrorists who launched the armed action, while Moscow's first concern was to preserve the lives of the hostages," he said during a visit to Cairo.

In Moscow the Dutch ambassador to Russia, Tiddo Hofstee, was called in for a meeting with Deputy Foreign Minister Boris Chezhov, in which the latter said that "Moscow is expecting an official explanation" of the Dutch reaction.

The Dutch spokesman, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in the Netherlands, defended the comments, and said that the EU presidency had been in diplomatic touch with Moscow to defuse the situation.

"We don't think there's any harm in what the minister said. We're actually saying to the Russian authorities that we want to work together in combatting terrorism."

Bot "thinks it is a good idea if you want to understand things and want to help each other, that you know what happened there," said the spokesman. "That was the sole purpose of what he said, no more and no less."

"It was either a misunderstanding or someone pulled that quote out of context and thought 'We'd like to make a big row out of this'," he added.

Some 322 people, about half of them children, were killed after Russian forces stormed the school in the southern Russian region of North Ossetia to end the three-day hostage crisis.

In a televised address on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said the hostage-taking showed that international terrorism was at work in the country.

Vowing not to "give in to blackmail," he said: "We have showed weakness in the face of danger and the weak get beaten up."

He vowed to strengthen Russian unity and boost security in the north Caucasus.

European nations have generally been more critical of Russia's campaign in Chechnya than the United States, which views Russia as an ally in the international "war on terror".

According to diplomatic sources, the disputed Bot comments were issued after certain EU states -- notably the ex-Soviet Baltic states which were among 10 countries to join the EU in May -- called for the EU presidency to "go beyond a simple message of solidarity, and to seek to understand what happened."


TOPICS: News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; Russia
KEYWORDS: ossetia

1 posted on 09/04/2004 10:09:27 AM PDT by Pikamax
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To: Pikamax

The EU is a joke. They can't speak for the members.


2 posted on 09/04/2004 10:11:36 AM PDT by Glenn (The two keys to character: 1) Learn how to keep a secret. 2) ...)
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To: Pikamax

I think they got it right the first time.. high horse indeed.


3 posted on 09/04/2004 10:12:22 AM PDT by Awestruck (The artist formerly known as Goodie D)
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To: Pikamax
My wishful thinking!!

On the afternoon of the first debate, I love to see President Putin announce that it is clear that Bush has the right approach, talking does nothing and terror must be stopped everywhere. He'd then offer Iraq 6 to 10 thousand troops to help democratize Iraq and root out the al-Qaeda there.

The crapweasels and their media spokespersons are still trying to sell the story that there is no connection between terrorism and Iraq. Who knows. But, they are pushing their opinion as fact.

THERE IS NO PROOF THAT IRAQ AND AL-QAEDA ARE NOT CONNECTED, there may be a lack of evidenece so far, BUT NO PROOF.

So, lets hope that Putin will now line up with Bush and Blair and urge France and the EU to get involved in what clearly is a fight instead of carping from the sideline.

4 posted on 09/04/2004 10:21:51 AM PDT by Tacis (KERRYQUIDIC - Scandal, treason, dishonor & cover-up!! Benedict Arnold had a few good months, too!!)
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To: Pikamax
"But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened," he said.

OH HELL!

So did the Europeans "like to know" from the American authorities how the WTC tragedy could have happened???
5 posted on 09/04/2004 10:22:55 AM PDT by RonHolzwarth ("History repeats itself - first as tragedy, then as farce" - Karl Marx)
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To: Pikamax
Here's the EWWW Minister Bot who would have crapped in his pants if he had been there.


6 posted on 09/04/2004 10:23:46 AM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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To: Pikamax
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Saturday the comments were "insolent." "To put it mildly, the Dutch minister's comments give rise to (Russia's) astonishment."

Whoa, hold it Sergei. Wait till HorseFace weighs in on this and then you'll really have venting to do.

"We're the French consulted with... No? Why not?"

7 posted on 09/04/2004 10:26:17 AM PDT by AmericaUnited (It's time someone says the emperor has no clothes.)
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To: Lijahsbubbe

Gee, that Minister looks like a TV anchor from the 60's, like the old leftie fart Walter Cronkite.


8 posted on 09/04/2004 10:27:24 AM PDT by Ciexyz ("FR, best viewed with a budgie on hand")
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To: AmericaUnited
Majority Drools
9 posted on 09/04/2004 10:29:09 AM PDT by gcruse (http://gcruse.typepad.com/)
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To: Lijahsbubbe

Maybe it was better in Dutch. Sometimes translation can change the idea. "How it could have happened" may have been meant as "What lessons we may learn" or similiar, in a non-judgemental way.


10 posted on 09/04/2004 10:29:28 AM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: Pikamax
The EU has made another giant step toward total irrelevance.
11 posted on 09/04/2004 10:31:15 AM PDT by Pete'sWife (Dirt is for racing... asphalt is for getting there.)
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To: Travis McGee

Could be. It's hard for me to give the EU the benefit of the doubt.

Maybe he's backpeddling and he'll think twice before he opens his pie-hole next time.


12 posted on 09/04/2004 10:33:43 AM PDT by Lijahsbubbe
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Comment #13 Removed by Moderator

To: Pikamax

The EU is trying to "position" itself as 1. the policy holder for all 25 members by "demanding an explanation" and 2. holding itself out as if it really is somehow entitled to recieve an explanation.

They do not care about the 700 dead, they only care about their personal political gains that can be made on the expense of the dead children.


14 posted on 09/04/2004 10:36:20 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE!)
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To: Pikamax

EU and UN are a joke.


15 posted on 09/04/2004 10:36:58 AM PDT by frankcastle
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To: Tacis

Putin knows intimately that Iraq and al Qareda were connected. It was Russian intelligence that warned Bush, after 9-11, that another attack was coming and was supported by Iraq.

Unfortunately, in 2002, Putin aligned himself with the UN Axis of Weasels and failed to stand with GWB and Tony Blair in the War on Iraq, due to Russia's overriding commercial interests in dealing with Saddam Hussein (and maybe just a vestige of Cold War animus among the Russian military)

History is moving so quickly these days that all (except the French) have now realized the impact of their decisions made in the past 3 years. For Russia, better late than never.


16 posted on 09/04/2004 10:41:10 AM PDT by silverleaf (Fasten your seat belts- it's going to be a BUMPY ride.)
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To: Glenn
I'll try to find info on the closest Dutch consulate and complain. Bot's remarks are not only offensive, but very cynical to say the least.
17 posted on 09/04/2004 10:42:27 AM PDT by Leonora
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To: Lijahsbubbe
Yikes!!

It looks like he has about a size 12 neck.

Is that guy an adult?

18 posted on 09/04/2004 10:47:41 AM PDT by Sgt_Schultze
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To: Travis McGee

You're a nice guy ...but come on what are the odds that some arrogant appeasing a$$hole could resist the implication the Russians brought it upon themselves.
That comment is a natural for a leftist...wait till the NYT reports on the whole hostage crisis..bet you a $ to a donut it's in the second paragraph.


19 posted on 09/04/2004 10:48:59 AM PDT by UltraKonservativen (( YOU CAN'T FIX STUPID ))
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To: longtermmemmory

The EU reminds me of NY liberals. Insular, arrogant, and without a clue what goes on outside their borders.

I move that the French give up their vote on the UN security council to the EU. They are such wishy washy idiots, that they will be unable to do anything other than 'abstain' on every vote.


20 posted on 09/04/2004 10:49:11 AM PDT by talosiv
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To: Pikamax

""But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened," he said."

Well, allowing rag-heads to roam your country unescorted and unsupervised ranks pretty near the top of my list........


21 posted on 09/04/2004 10:50:21 AM PDT by rockrr (A day without democrats is like a day without mental disease)
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To: UltraKonservativen

THe liberal fix was already in.

The AP and Reuters headlines for 12 hours was, "XXX Dead after Russians storm school"

Never mind that the first hostages out all said the terrorists started it when they detonated the explosives in the gym.

Again, liberal orthodoxy trumps the truth every time.


22 posted on 09/04/2004 10:53:14 AM PDT by talosiv
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To: Glenn

Bernard Bot can be reached at:

dvl-info@minbuza.nl


23 posted on 09/04/2004 10:59:06 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Leonora

Dr. Bernard Rudolf Bot was born in Batavia, Indonesia (formerly the Dutch East Indies) on 21 November 1937.

After completing his secondary education, he studied law at Leiden University, the Hague Academy of International Law and Harvard Law School in Cambridge, Mass., where he obtained a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree. In 1968 he was awarded a doctorate in law by Leiden University for his thesis entitled 'Non-recognition and treaty relations'.


24 posted on 09/04/2004 11:01:37 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Leonora

http://www.government.nl/contact/index.jsp


25 posted on 09/04/2004 11:02:22 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Leonora

http://www.cgny.org/location.asp

Netherlands Consulates


26 posted on 09/04/2004 11:05:10 AM PDT by jimbo123
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To: Glenn

Can the EU even get their coinage straight?
The outfit is dominated by the big Frogs in Paris.


27 posted on 09/04/2004 11:09:59 AM PDT by pointsal
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To: talosiv

Yes, the children were dead after the devils planted bombs all around them that were filled with bolts, nuts and other shards designed to do maximum damage. They're dead after they were shot in the back by the Islamists. Their moms and dads and babuschkas are dead after being executed in front of their eyes by the Chechen devils. The western media needs to face up to the truth, and it won't.


28 posted on 09/04/2004 11:10:20 AM PDT by laconic
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To: Pikamax

"There are only two things I hate:

intolerance of other cultures,

and the Dutch."

...paraphrased from Goldmember...


29 posted on 09/04/2004 11:13:52 AM PDT by PresbyRev
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To: jimbo123

Here is what I wrote under the subject, Causes of Terrorism:

I am encouraged by your call to address the root causes of terrorism given that Europeans have been in the forefront of western nations supporting it. When Europeans host and give money to Palestinian and Chechen terrorists, they are promoting mass murder. Perhaps some introspection on your part will lead to a change in policy. Then again, I will not hold my breath. Europeans have always loved mass murder and the Dutch have always done their part to encourage it.

Your shameful, high-handed approach to the Russian tragedy is only worthy of our contempt. Today we are all Russians. All of us, that is, except you.


30 posted on 09/04/2004 11:21:56 AM PDT by Owl558 (Pardon my spelling)
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To: Pikamax

I hope the Baltics don't let their hatred of Russia overwhelm their good sense in the war on terrorism.


31 posted on 09/04/2004 11:26:45 AM PDT by FreedomSurge
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To: Owl558

I thought I heard somewhere that these Chechens are connected to Hamas in some way. Can't remember. Is Hamas in the PLO?


32 posted on 09/04/2004 12:26:50 PM PDT by virgil
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To: Pikamax
In the disputed remarks, made in a written statement issued late Friday, the Dutch minister said that: "All countries in the world need to work together to prevent tragedies like this.

Problem is, most of Europe thinks "working together" means writing resolutions and holding committee meetings, but certainly never actually removing the threat where it lives.

"But we also would like to know from the Russian authorities how this tragedy could have happened," he said.

So while in one breath he wants to "work together" to prevent it happening, in the next he essentially implies Russia somehow asked for it? Sounds familiar.

33 posted on 09/04/2004 12:54:22 PM PDT by workerbee
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To: Pikamax

I figure we can give Europe to Russia in exchange for all the lands in the Western Hemisphere....


34 posted on 09/04/2004 12:56:40 PM PDT by Porterville (How can the median price of a home in CA be 450,000 dollars? How? Where is the money?)
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To: Lijahsbubbe

Next time, they'll get a native-speaker Russian to do the translating, is my thought.


35 posted on 09/04/2004 2:35:34 PM PDT by Travis McGee (----- www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com -----)
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To: jimbo123

Thanks. Already sent them email.


36 posted on 09/04/2004 8:07:22 PM PDT by Leonora
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To: virgil

"I thought I heard somewhere that these Chechens are connected to Hamas in some way."

I really don't know, but wouldn't be a bit surprised. They're all one happy family.


37 posted on 09/04/2004 10:36:14 PM PDT by Owl558 (Pardon my spelling)
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