Russian commentators on the Clinton-Yeltsin summit portrayed it as a victory for the Russian side. Kommersant-daily noted on May 11 that Clinton had backed down on the Iranian nuclear sale, although the paper noted that the Nuclear Power Ministry had heard nothing about the “military” side of the deal, which Yeltsin referred to at the press conference, thus implying that it may have been a diplomatic bargaining chip announced so that it could be sacrificed. (Russian wire services repeated Iranian statements that they knew nothing about the centrifuge deal, and TASS said that Russia’s nuclear power minister had refused to rule out such a sale in the future or withdraw the 250 Russian nuclear specialists already in Iran.) And on Chechnya, the paper continued, Clinton was “not as categorical” as his own State Department had been. In the May 11 Segodnya, military columnist Pavel Felgengauer said that the US side had “made considerable concessions” which allowed the ABM regime to be maintained. And Moskovsky komsomolets described both leaders as “gloomy owls” at their press conference appearance but said that “the Americans could not achieve even half of what they might have expected on any of the problems under discussion.” Clinton got nothing on NATO and, by suggesting that Russia’s interests would always have to be taken into account in any expansion of that alliance, had provided Moscow with a “demagogically” useful slogan. Russia’s ambassador to the US, Yuli Vorontsov, said the entire summit represented “an American concession to Russia,” Segodnya reported May 11. And Moskovkie novosti (no. 32) carried an article by Aleksey Pushkov on the end of the “American syndrome” in Russian foreign policy. Pushkov argued that Moscow must pursue an independent line and that it was senseless to try “to impose ourselves” as strategic partners with Washington.
..To a Cooperative One.