For all the bonhomie and the efforts by the G-7 leaders to accommodate Yeltsin, differences emerged on several key issues. During his meeting April 19 with British prime minister John Major, for example, Yeltsin reiterated Moscow’s categorical opposition to NATO enlargement, while he suggested to U.S. president Bill Clinton two days later that enlargement might include "a provision that no country may be accepted without Russia’s agreement." (Reuter, April 21) Yeltsin was rebuffed in those efforts, as he was rebuffed April 20 when he presented a nine-point plan for international nuclear security that included a proposal, mooted earlier, for the creation of a nuclear-weapons free zone in Eastern Europe. (UPI, April 20) In similar fashion, Yeltsin’s mention on several occasions of Moscow’s desire to attain full membership in the G-7 was greeted largely with silence by the summit’s participants.
Clinton and Yeltsin also clashed over Russia’s determination to go ahead with the sale of nuclear reactors to Iran. Clinton reiterated the U.S. position that Iran is aiming to build a nuclear weapon and that Moscow "is just wrong" to believe otherwise. Yeltsin insisted Moscow would go through with the sale. Indeed, on the same day, a Russian company involved in the Iranian plant project announced that it was conducting talks with Tehran over the training of up of to 700 Iranian nuclear experts. (Reuter, April 20)
Clinton-Yeltsin Talks: Arms Control and Chechnya.