A smoldering disagreement over marking the Russian-Chinese border (See Monitor, April 8) erupted publicly yesterday when Boris Yeltsin was forced to deny a statement by a powerful regional leader to the effect that Yeltsin had ordered a suspension in the demarcation operation. Yevgeny Nazdratenko, governor of the Far Eastern Primorsky Krai, told a local radio station in Vladivostok yesterday that Yeltsin had considered objections to the border demarcation from Far Eastern officials and had subsequently "ordered a halt to all demarcation works." Nazdratenko added that he himself was part of the team that would accompany Yeltsin to China April 24 and that he would take an active part in talks on the border.
Nazdratenko’s statements elicited an emphatic denial from Yeltsin. Presumably referring to an order issued by his office in February, Yeltsin told reporters that he had, "on the contrary… signed a decree aimed at speeding up the demarcation of the border with China" in hopes of being able to finalize the border agreement during his high-profile and long-awaited trip to China. Yeltsin reportedly suggested that Nazdratenko, an outspoken and controversial figure, was not in full possession of his faculties when he made his most recent remarks. (Reuter & Itar-Tass, April 11)
Moscow Looks to Maintain Ties with Pyongyang.