Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 161

German officials were close-mouthed yesterday about both the circumstances that underlay Chancellor Helmut Kohl’s upcoming visit to Russia and the topics that he and Russian president Boris Yeltsin plan to discuss. The officials suggested that the hastily-arranged visit would be an informal one "without much fuss or protocol." Kohl, perhaps Yeltsin’s closest Western ally, will travel to Russia on September 7 for talks with Yeltsin at an unspecified presidential residence near the capital. In Moscow, meanwhile, a Russian presidential spokesman said on August 28 that Kohl, during one of two telephone conversations between the two leaders on August 26 and 28, had expressed satisfaction with recent steps taken by the Russian leadership to settle peacefully the conflict in Chechnya. (Interfax, August 28; Reuter, August 29) Military operations launched against Chechen rebels by federal forces following Russia’s recent presidential election were the cause of much dissatisfaction in Germany, and led to an intensification of criticism aimed at Kohl for his cozy relationship with the Russian president.

Moscow and Tokyo Spar over Latest Fishing Incident.