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Russia/Slovakia: Chernomyrdin Discusses Bilateral Relations, NATO

Bratislava, 28 April 1997 (RFE/RL) - Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, on an official visit to Bratislava, met today with his Slovak counterpart Vladimir Meciar to discuss bilateral economic relations.

Chernomyrdin told journalists afterwards that the talks had been "very successful" and that the two sides had discussed final details on a set of agreements to be signed tomorrow. Chernomyrdin also said "possibilities were weighed" to enhance the presence of Slovak products on the Russian market with the aim of reducing Slovakia's $1.5 billion trade deficit.

Chernomyrdin declined to say whether the issue of NATO's planned eastward expansion had been touched upon in his talks with Meciar, saying he would answer journalists questions tomorrow.

A spokesman for Slovakia's President Michal Kovac said that in talks with Kovac earlier today Chernomyrdin had reiterated Russia's opposition to NATO's planned expansion and warned that former Warsaw PAct members seeking NATO membership "risked affecting their relations" with Moscow.