The current issue of Soldat otechestva, the weekly newspaper of Russia’s Operational Group of Forces in Moldova (formerly the 14th Army) reports that Russian president Boris Yeltsin’s national security adviser Yuri Baturin, and the head of the Russian Defense Ministry’s political education directorate, Lt. General Sergei Zdorikov, recently visited the Russian troops there. The visitors praised the troops’ readiness and their "merits toward the Russian state," and reviewed 1,000 soldiers freshly brought in from Russia. (17)
The visit roughly coincided with official proposals authorized by Yeltsin to legalize the troops’ presence in Moldova by giving them "peacekeeping" status and basing rights. Those proposals followed in the wake of messages by Moldovan president Mircea Snegur and the Moldovan parliament to their Russian counterparts, asking for implementation of the 1994 troop withdrawal agreement. Moscow has clearly if unofficially disowned that agreement. (18)
Kuchma in China.