As predicted by the Monitor on November 19 and since, Russian President Boris Yeltsin has endorsed Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma over the latter’s political opponents in Ukraine. The two presidents met on January 30-31 for a "no-necktie summit" at Yeltsin’s Zavidovo residence outside Moscow. Yeltsin told journalists, with reference to Kuchma, that he "supports him now and will support him in the presidential election." Because the presidential election in Ukraine is not due until 1999, Yeltsin’s announcement and its timing clearly signify that Moscow supports the presidential camp in Ukraine’s more imminent parliamentary elections. In a joint statement, Yeltsin and Kuchma drew a highly optimistic balance sheet of recent trends in Russian-Ukrainian elections. They also reaffirmed their intention to meet again later this months for an official summit and for signing a ten-year cooperation program. (Russian and Ukrainian agencies, January 30-31 and February 1)
Azerbaijan Political Roundup.