Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 20

In a forty-minute telephone conversation January 26, Boris Yeltsin assured Bill Clinton that economic reform would continue in Russia and that Yeltsin would work for ratification of the START-II Treaty in the Duma. Speaking to reporters the next day, Yeltsin compared the conversation to a "second honeymoon" between the two countries and suggested that his convalescence from two heart attacks had contributed to a deterioration of friendly relations between Russia and the United States. His positive assessment of the conversation was echoed in Washington by White House spokesman Mike McCurry, who said Yeltsin was "fully back at work, in charge, and… in good shape." Alluding to recent developments in Moscow, McCurry said the White House understood Yeltsin to be operating in a "complex political environment" that compelled him to take "different turns and twists along that pathway toward reform." That description of recent events in Moscow mirrors Yeltsin’s own assurances that his recent government shake-up was part of a series of "tactical" rather than "strategic" moves.

…But Signs of Discord Linger.