The Kremlin announced on February 23 that Russian President Boris Yeltsin will travel to the Japanese city of Kawana, a seaside resort, on April 11-13 for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto. The meeting will be the second informal summit between the two men. The first was held in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk last November. The February 23 announcement followed talks between the Russian president and Japanese Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi, who was on the final day of a three-day visit to Moscow. (See Monitor, February 23)
Aside from the summit announcement, the highlight of the February 23 talks was a preliminary agreement by which Japan pledged to grant Russia a $1.5 billion credit aimed at boosting Russian economic reform. The credit agreement will reportedly be finalized during Yeltsin’s visit to Japan. Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrzhembsky indicated that the Russian government plans to use most of the money to construct housing for Russian servicemen. (Kyodo, Itar-Tass, February 23) The Japanese aid, announced on Russia’s main military holiday, could help improve ties between the defense establishments of the two countries. An ambitious schedule of contacts between Russian and Japanese military personnel is planned for this year.
Doku Zavgaev’s Nephew Kidnapped in Moscow.