China’s ambassador to Russia, Li Fenglin, had some sharp words yesterday for Maritime krai governor Yevgeny Nazdratenko, but nonetheless insisted that mounting controversy over demarcation of the Russo-Chinese border would provoke no "international scandals" during Yeltsin’s visit. Nazdratenko has spearheaded a heated campaign in the Russian Far East aimed at halting demarcation of the joint Russian-Chinese border over alleged territorial concessions made by the Russian side. Li Fenglin made clear that, in his view, the 1991 border agreement governing the demarcation "corresponds to the national interests of both countries." (Interfax, April 22)
On April 18 a Russian deputy foreign minister criticized Nazdratenko for attempting to "undermine or spoil our relations with China," and warned that his opposition to the border demarcation was "a very dangerous path to follow." He declared that the Russian government intended to fulfill a presidential decree, dated April 11, mandating an acceleration in the demarcation of the border with China. The deputy foreign minister also denied that Yeltsin would sign an agreement while in Beijing that ceded Russian territory to China. (Itar-Tass & Interfax, April 18)
Primakov Rebuffed in Israel.