Publication: Monitor Volume: 4 Issue: 144

Russian Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov also held a joint press conference with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright in Manila yesterday. The meeting with reporters actually preceded talks between the two diplomats that were expected to last well into the night. During the press conference, Primakov and Albright each expressed confidence that the summit scheduled for later this year between the Russian and American presidents was likely to be a success. Primakov described the summit as “programmed for success” and said that, while all problems would not be solved, the summit would enable the two countries “to develop their relations in economic, and political and other spheres.” Primakov also emphasized that relations with the United States remain a priority for Russia. “Their development,” he said, “is critical to the various regions of the world.” (Itar-Tass, July 27)

Albright told reporters that nonproliferation issues would top the U.S. agenda during the summit. She made specific mention of enduring U.S. concerns over Russia’s cooperation with Iran in the development of ballistic missiles. Albright said that her talks with Primakov last night would focus on Kosovo, and called on the world community to hold Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic to his commitments to end the fighting in Kosovo. (Reuter, Russian agencies, July 27) The United States, and the West in general, has held Milosevic primarily responsible for the ongoing bloodshed in Kosovo. Moscow, in contrast, has blamed the Kosovo Albanians for the violence. The Kremlin has also praised Milosevic for fulfilling, in Moscow’s view, commitments he made during talks with Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the Russian capital on June 16. As Albright’s comments suggest, however, many in the West view Milosevic’s activities otherwise.