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Russia: Yeltsin Meets Gazprom Head

Moscow, 6 August 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin is holding talks at the Kremlin with the chairman of Russia's gas monopoly, Gazprom.

Speaking to reporters at the start of the talks with Rem Vyakhirev, Yeltsin said he is now satisfied with the company's cooperation and performance following earlier disagreements over the non-payment of taxes. He said today's talks will focus on Gazprom's planned cooperation with a number of Russian and foreign partners.

Earlier today, Yeltsin attended the consecration of a chapel on Moscow's Arbat Square with Patriarch Alexy II. Yeltsin said no obstacle will stand in the way of close relations between the Orthodox Church and the government, even in the wake of his veto of a proposed religious bill backed by the church. He pledged to set up a conciliatory commission with representatives from the Orthodox Church, the government, president and State Duma to craft a new bill.

Patriarch Alexy said he was satisfied with the move.