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Russia: Blair, Chernomyrdin Sign Anti-Crime Accord

Moscow, 6 October 1997 (RFE/RL) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin have signed an agreement on fighting organized crime and drug trafficking.

Blair, on a one-day visit to Moscow, signed the agreement with Chernomyrdin today, after holding talks with President Boris Yeltsin in the Kremlin.

Yeltsin hailed the anti-crime accord with Britain, saying similar Russian international anti-crime accords had been signed, but only at the lower interior ministry level.

Yeltsin described his talks with Blair as "interesting," saying he and Blair had agreeded on all issues. According to ITAR-TASS, Yeltsin and Blair also discussed the G-7 plus Russia summit scheduled for Birmingham, England next May. The leaders talks were also expected to focus on improving bilateral trade. British imports to Russia are valued at $1.6 billion, up 16 percent from last year.

Yeltsin also presented Blair with photocopies of British military archives that Soviet troops captured in Germany during World War II.