Publication: Monitor Volume: 3 Issue: 223

After a brief informal meeting yesterday near Moscow, Russian president Boris Yeltsin and visiting German chancellor Helmut Kohl announced that the first in a series of German-French-Russian summits will be held in the first half of next year. The announcement builds on a proposal made by Yeltsin in October during a Council of Europe summit in Strasbourg. Yeltsin had complained in the runup to the Strasbourg meeting that the U.S. exercises undue influence in Europe, and the three-way summit proposal is part of an effort by Moscow to strengthen ties between Europe and Russia independent of Washington. Yeltsin had discussed the scheduling of the summit with French president Jacques Chirac by telephone on November 29, the day prior to Kohl’s arrival.

A wide range of other topics was also on the agenda yesterday. Yeltsin and Kohl agreed that they will hold two summit meetings next year and that they will seek to enhance the importance of such meetings in the future in order to boost bilateral relations. Yeltsin reportedly also raised the issue of increasing the amount of financial assistance that Russia receives from abroad (see item above), and won a pledge from Kohl that he would discuss the matter with other world leaders. In addition, the Kremlin announced that Yeltsin and Kohl had agreed that experts from the two countries will meet later this month to discuss development of a European military transport plane based on a Russian-Ukrainian aircraft. Construction of the plane would lessen Europe’s dependence on U.S. transports. (Reuter, Itar-Tass, November 30)

Yesterday’s Yeltsin-Kohl talks were apparently not effected adversely by an announcement in Bonn on November 28 that German authorities had arrested two German citizens on suspicion of having spied for the Soviet Union and, later, for Russia. Spokesmen for Russia’s two chief intelligence agencies — the Foreign Intelligence Service and the Federal Security Service — criticized Bonn for announcing the arrests on the eve of the Yeltsin-Kohl talks, but refused comment on the charges themselves. (Itar-Tass, November 29)

Another Naval Whistle-Blower Charged with Treason.