Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 28

Talks between Russian prime minister Viktor Chernomyrdin and U.S. leaders wound up in Washington on February 7 with the signing of a series of economic cooperation agreements and more statements from both sides on bilateral relations, NATO enlargement, and arms control. The economic agreements, nineteen in number, were signed following the second and final day of talks conducted under the aegis of the Russian-U.S. Intergovernmental Commission on Economic and Scientific-Technical Cooperation, co-chaired by Chernomyrdin and U.S. vice president Al Gore. The accords included agreements on cooperation in the control and protection of nuclear materials, peaceful uses of nuclear energy, construction, and joint scientific research. Among the specific projects approved was a guarantee by the U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corp. to provide $116 million in investment funds for American companies to invest in Russian oil exploration. Other initiatives will involve a working group to sort out tax problems for U.S. investors in Russia and a conference that will look to boost investment opportunities for small U.S. businesses in Russian projects. (AP, Interfax, February 8)

Talks involving economic cooperation continued on February 9, as Chernomyrdin and Gore traveled on to Chicago. There the Russian prime minister addressed a group of 400 midwestern business executives and reportedly won applause with a plea for some understanding of Russia’s many problems. That was a pleasant change from developments earlier in the day, when foul weather delayed the arrival of the two men in Chicago and their scheduled appearance at the 89th Annual Chicago Auto Show. Patrons, forced to wait for the VIP’s, booed when they finally arrived for a ribbon cutting ceremony with Mayor Richard Daley. (UPI, AP, February 9)

… and Political Announcements.