The result of talks in New York between Russian foreign minister Yevgeny Primakov and U.S. president Bill Clinton offered a similarly mixed picture. According to U.S. officials, Primakov told Clinton that Moscow would not oppose parliamentary elections set for next month by Bosnian Serb president Biljana Plavsic. Moscow has generally leaned toward the hard-line Bosnian Serb forces which oppose the more pro-Western Plavsic, and Primakov’s statement would seem to remove a possible barrier to the elections, the U.S. officials said. Russia, which participates in NATO’s Bosnia peacekeeping mission, has often clashed with the Alliance over what Moscow alleges is the Western Alliance’s anti-Serb bias.
During the meeting with Primakov, Clinton also reportedly repeated Washington’s demand that Russia halt its nuclear and its missile cooperation with Iran. U.S. national security adviser Sandy Berger’s account of that exchange, which also referenced the talks going on outside of Moscow, appeared to be less positive than that offered by the U.S. vice president. Berger said that the two sides had achieved "some greater clarity" on the issue, but spelled out no specific area of progress. Clinton, like Gore, also raised Washington’s objections to the revised Russian law on religion. (Reuter, September 22) Primakov, meanwhile, told Russian reporters following his talks with Clinton that the two sides had reached agreement on an arrangement by which experts will begin the drafting of a START III Treaty immediately after ratification by Russia of the START II agreement. (Itar-Tass, September 23) The meeting between the two men took place on the margins of the UN General Assembly meeting.
Defense Workers Take to Russia’s Streets.