Disarmament experts from Russia joined their counterparts from the United States, China, Britain, and France in Geneva yesterday as the UN Security Council’s five permanent members began efforts to forge a common approach toward easing tensions in South Asia. Yesterday’s meeting is to be followed today by a gathering in Geneva of foreign ministers from the five states, all of which are established nuclear powers. Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov said during a visit to Switzerland yesterday that he perceived among the five permanent Security Council members a “general desire to reach some adequate measures” to deal with developments in South Asia. But he also made clear that Russia would join China, France and Britain in opposing the imposition of sanctions on India and Pakistan. (Reuter, June 3) Japan and the United States have leveled some sanctions against India and Pakistan, but the Clinton administration has announced that it will not press its Security Council partners on the issue in Geneva.
In Moscow, meanwhile, a top Russian Foreign Ministry official suggested yesterday that it might be time to include India and Pakistan–as well as other threshold nuclear states–in talks aimed at promoting strategic stability. First Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov also repeated Moscow’s call for India and Pakistan to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. In this same context he suggested, finally, that Russian lawmakers should move more energetically toward ratification of the START II treaty. (Russian agencies, June 3)
GOVERNOR WARNS AGAINST GIVE-AWAY OF KURIL ISLANDS.