After nearly two hours of talks, during which NATO enlargement appeared to be the only major source of disagreement (see Monitor, February 19), German chancellor Helmut Kohl yesterday welcomed "the tight link between Boris Yeltsin’s striving to be elected for a second term and his desire to continue reforms." The near endorsement of Yeltsin’s presidential bid follows accusations leveled against Kohl in Germany that the chancellor’s trip to Moscow was aimed at boosting Yeltsin’s presidential run. Many Russian newspapers interpreted the visit in the same way. In the press conference that followed the talks Kohl did win from Yeltsin the now familiar pledge of fidelity to reforms. "I have assured Helmut Kohl that I will continue the reforms and will not deviate from them a single centimeter," Yeltsin proclaimed. Russia’s brutal conduct of the war in Chechnya, which has provoked strong criticism among Kohl’s political opponents in Germany, was treated circumspectly by the two leaders. Kohl praised Yeltsin for his recent pledge to conclude the war before the elections and called for "an end to the suffering that the Chechens are experiencing." (3)
Television Chief’s Replacement Insists Free Speech not Dead in Russia.