Moscow, March 21 (RFE/RL) -- U.S. Secretary of State Warren
Christopher has arrived in Moscow at the start of two days of
talks with top Russian officials on a wide range of bilateral issues.
He was greeted on arrival today by Russian Deputy Foreign Minister
Georgi Mamedov. This afternoon Christopher plans to meet NATO
Secretary General Javier Solana to get a report on his talks with
Russian leaders on NATO expansion plans.
U.S. State Department spokesman Nicholas Burns says that tonight
Christopher has been invited to dine with Russian Foreign Minister
Yevgeni Primakov . He said this would be a private dinner to go over
the agenda for tomorrow's talks.
Burns said the two sides will have a comprehensive discussion of all
major issues. the topics to be raised will include preparations for
next month's international summit on international safety and
cooperation between Russia and the U.S. in NATO peacekeeping
operations in Bosnia. They will also discuss the situation in Bosnia
ahead of Saturday's conference of the five-nation Contact Group with
Balkan foreign ministers which is being hosted by Moscow for the
The U.S-Russian delegation will also discuss armament issues
including prospcts for ratification by the Russian Duma of the START
II nuclear weapons reduction treaty.
Burns says international terrorism is another discussion topic as
well as U.S. and Russian shared interests on international issues
including the Middle East peace process and efforts to end the
Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict in Nagorno-Karabakh.
Burns said that on all these issues the two sides share common goals
but they have differences over NATO expansion, Russian arms sales to
the Middle East and the war in breakaway republic of Chechnya. Burns
said these topics too will be on the agenda.
Christopher is scheduled tomorrow to meet President Boris Yeltsin in
the Kremlin. The Russian and U.S. delegations will
then have a working lunch followed by a plenary session. Later
tomorrow, Christopher plans to host a gathering of Russian
politicians, including political party leaders, presidential
candidates for Russia's June 16 election and representatives of the
Russian Duma and Federation Council.