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Russia: Clinton Hopeful Of More Help If Reforms Continue

Moscow, 2 September 1998 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton today held out the prospect of more financial aid for Russia if it continues on the path of market reform. Speaking at a news conference with Russian President Boris Yeltsin at the end of their two-day Kremlin summit, Clinton said he would "strongly" back financial help for Russia from the U.S. and other countries. But he made it clear that future help will depend on Russia's continuing reforms and not turning away from future hardships.

Clinton said history gives him great faith that Russia and its people can overcome their current economic crisis. "A country that rebuffed Napoleon and Hitler can surely adjust to the realities of the world marketplace," he said.

Yeltsin said he is convinced stability will return to the Russian economy within the next two years. He added that Russia is not always looking for financial hand-outs from the West. He said all he wants from the U.S. right now is political support for Russian economic reform.

Yeltsin also said he and Clinton had not had a single disagreement during their two day talks. "We remain friends," he said.

On international issues, Yeltsin said it is clear there is no military solution to any conflicts in the world today, whether in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan or elsewhere. He also reiterated Russia's long-standing opposition to NATO's eastward expansion.