In a long interview with Izvestiya on the eve of a three-day visit to Moscow, French prime minister Alain Juppe intimated that Russians should vote for Boris Yeltsin because he had shepherded Russia through a difficult economic transition, the results of which were only now becoming apparent. Juppe also said that Moscow’s anxieties over NATO enlargement were misplaced. He described enlargement as a natural process of European integration that would be balanced by closer relations between Russia and both NATO and the European Union. More broadly, he spoke of France’s intention to work toward Russia’s full integration into such multilateral bodies as the G-7 and the World Trade Organization. Juppe also called for resolution of the Chechnya crisis in a peaceful fashion along the lines of the settlement Moscow reached two years ago with Tatarstan. He also said that he would bring a group of French businessmen with him to Moscow in hopes of raising the current modest levels of trade that exist between the two countries. (3)
German MP Calls For Release of Russian Naval Officer.