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Russian Far East Governor Says Border Agreement With China Possible

Moscow, April 15 (RFE/RL) - The governor of the Primorsky region in Russia's Far East, Yevgeny Nazdratenko, said today that a compromise is possible on the division of land on Russia's border with China.

Nazdratenko had initially opposed the signing of a border accord that would give China some 1,500 hectares of land.

But a spokeswoman for Nazratenko, Ilsyiar Malisheva, told our Moscow correspondent in a phone conversation that the governor is now ready to negotiate the issue with Chinese officials after President Boris Yeltsin's visit to China (April 24-26).

Malysheva said that Nazdratenko plans to hold special talks on 300 hectares of the disputed land. But she said the governor agrees that another 1,200 hectares be transferred to China, according to a 1991 treaty between Moscow and Beijing.

Malysheva confirmed that demarcation works on the border are continuing. Last week Yeltsin ordered these be accelerated, despite opposition from several top officials, including Nadzratenko and other governors in the Far East, charging the move damaged Russian interests.