Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 64

Speakers addressing the U.S.-Russia Business Council yesterday assured representatives of some 240 leading U.S. companies involved in the Russian economy that economic reforms will continue in Russia regardless of the outcome of June’s presidential elections. U.S. national security advisor Anthony Lake suggested to the group that only the "pace" of reform was likely to be affected by the elections, arguing that "whoever gets elected will find it very hard to reverse the progress of reform in Russia." That assessment was echoed by a former U.S. ambassador to Russia, Robert Strauss, who also expressed both a strong preference for Boris Yeltsin’s reelection and an equal faith in the Russian incumbent’s chances of victory. Russia’s ambassador to the U.S., Yuly Vorontsov, told the gathering that "the victory of President Yeltsin is assured." (UPI, April 1)

Lake also used the occasion to address Boris Yeltsin’s peace plan for Chechnya. He expressed Washington’s hope that the initiative would mean the end to hostilities and said that the United States supported Russia’s right to protect its territorial integrity even while opposing "the means that the Russians have been using" to do it. Lake also reaffirmed Washington’s intention to remain "engaged with Russia" through what he described as a "a new age of possibility but also of peril." (AP, April 1)

Slow Economic Growth Forecast for Russia.