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Christopher Undecided On Invitation From Primakov

Washington, Jan. 23 (RFE/RL) - The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Warren Christopher has not yet decided when and where to meet Russia's new foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov.

State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns said today that Christopher and Primakov will meet briefly in Europe, probably next week, but a specific venue and date remain undetermined.

Yesterday, Primakov told reporters he had invited Christopher to Moscow for their first meeting. Primakov did not say whether Christopher had responded to the invitation, nor did he specify a date. But the newly-appointment foreign minister said that President Boris Yeltsin also would meet with Christopher if he went to Moscow.

On Jan. 11, shortly after the new foreign minister's appointment, the State Department said Christopher and Primakov would meet "somewhere in Europe" during the first week of February.

Christopher is scheduled to leave Washington for the Balkans toward the end of next week. His itinerary includes stops in Sarajevo, Zagreb and Belgrade to assess compliance by Bosnians, Serbs and Croats with the Dayton peace accords.