During Schroeder’s talks with Yeltsin, reported to have lasted about an hour, the two were said to have discussed Russia’s economic woes and proposed joint economic projects. The projects discussed included one under which Germany, Russia and Ukraine would work jointly to build a new aircraft based on the An-70 military transport plane. Another involved the upgrading of Soviet-made MiG-29 fighters used by Germany’s Bundeswehr. Schroeder, whose visit was probably seen in Bonn at least in part as an opportunity to assess Yeltsin’s health, said later that he had found the Russian leader to “be a very informed and active president.” Some German journalists covering the meeting, however, said that Yeltsin had looked waxen-faced and that he had moved stiffly (Reuters, AP, Itar-Tass, November 17).
Schroeder, who also met yesterday with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, told reporters that he would meet with Yeltsin next during the Group of Seven summit scheduled for June in the German city of Koeln. The two sides would also, he said, hold the next round of German-Russian bilateral consultations in Moscow just after the G-7 summit (Russian agencies, November 17). Russia and Germany agreed last year to increase the importance of regular summit meetings between their leaders by including large numbers of ministers in the summit delegations. It is unclear whether bilateral talks between the two countries will continue under this expanded format in the post-Kohl era.
PRIMAKOV CONSULTS WITH U.S. VICE PRESIDENT IN KUALA LUMPUR.