As Moscow prepared yesterday for the visit of Japanese Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, Russian political leaders and diplomats were also anticipating upcoming high-level talks with Russia’s two major Asian partners. The Russian presidential press service yesterday confirmed that Chinese President Jiang Zemin will arrive in Moscow on November 22 for talks with Boris Yeltsin and other Russian leaders. The talks, which earlier reports have said will take the form of an “informal summit,” are expected to “give a significant impetus to joint efforts to bring Russian-Chinese cooperation to a new level of understanding and trust,” the press service said. Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and his Chinese counterpart, Tang Jiaxuan, are expected to meet next week in Malaysia to discuss last minute preparations for the November 22 summit meeting (Russian agencies, November 10).
In Moscow, meanwhile, Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeev yesterday hosted a meeting with a visiting Indian defense official, First Deputy Defense Minister Ajit Kumar. The two discussed a draft agreement which will extend a program of military-technical cooperation between the two countries to the year 2010. Sergeev is expected to visit India from November 25-27. President Boris Yeltsin is scheduled to visit India in December, when the two countries are expected to sign the military cooperation agreement (Itar-Tass, November 10).
ANTI-KUCHMA REFERENDUM INITIATIVE STOPPED FOR NOW.