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Yeltsin And Christopher Complete Talks, Primakov Continues Sessions

  • Sonia Winter

Moscow, March 22 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Warren Christopher and Russian President Boris Yeltsin have completed talks in Moscow. The talks lasted about an hour.

Our correspondent in Moscow says the main issues discussed were NATO's planned eastward expansion, an upcoming summit on Bosnia, U.S. President Bill Clinton's planned visit to Moscow in April, and a nuclear energy summit in Moscow next month. A statement issued by the Kremlin press service says the talks were "businesslike and constructive." But correspondents say it appears the two made little progress in easing Russian objections to NATO's eastward expansion.

Our correspondent says other important issues were left for discussion between Christopher and Foreign Minister Yevgeni Primakov during a working lunch today and a plenary session. Among those issues are disarmament, international terrorism and the conflicts in Nagorno-Karabakh and Chechnya.

Christopher is expected to register U.S. opposition to Russia's nuclear technology and conventional weapon sales to Iran, as well as to discuss the START-II Nuclear Disarmament Treaty and the military campaign to crush the separatist rebellion in the Russian Federation Republic of Chechnya.

Yeltsin had been expected to tell Christopher he was opposed to NATO's eastward expansion plans -- a message similar to one he gave visiting NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana yesterday. Yeltsin regards NATO's planned expansion as a threat to Russia's security and says that it will sow deep mistrust.