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Russia: Yeltsin Tells Clinton Reforms Will Continue

Moscow, 1 September 1998 (RFE/RL) - Russian President Boris Yeltsin is quoted today as promising visiting U.S. President Bill Clinton that there will be no retreat from reforms in Russia despite the current severe economic crisis. The report comes from Interfax, quoting Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky's account of talks between the two men in the Kremlin this morning at the start of the two-day Moscow summit. Their talks lasted three hours.

Sandy Berger, the president's national security adviser who is with him in Moscow, also said today that Yeltsin and his designated prime minister, Viktor Chernomyrdin, are signalling that they will not deviate fundamentally from the path of economic reform.

The reported pledge from Yeltsin comes the day after Clinton said the United States would continue to support Russia as long as it continued on the path to reform. However, Interfax quoted a Kremlin aide as saying the two presidents did not discuss U.S. financial assistance for Russia in today's talks. A White House official is quoted as saying Clinton has no intention of offering further aid.