CNN: World Leaders Descend On Denver (6/19/97)
Clinton, Yeltsin Meet Today At Denver Summit
Russia a player at 'Summit of the Eight'
DENVER (AllPolitics, June 20) -- President Bill Clinton, hosting this weekend's meeting of major industrialized nations in Denver, is giving center stage to Russia's Boris Yeltsin.
The two leaders met this afternoon, and Clinton has invited Yeltsin to deliver the opening address at a gala dinner tonight. The Russian leader's topic will be Russia's halting progress toward a free-market economy.
The meeting, once known as the G-7, has a new name because of Russia's participation, the "Summit of the Eight."
Yeltsin has no higher goal during the summit than ensuring the Kremlin's permanent membership in the exclusive club of the world's richest countries.
Kremlin spokesman Sergei Yastrazhemsky said Yeltsin would be pushing the G-7 leaders to make Moscow's acceptance into the organization an incontrovertible and permanent reality during the meeting.
He told reporters that Yeltsin arrived in Denver buoyed by his Communist-controlled legislature's passage of a new tax package for the next budget year that should help solve Russian economic difficulties and assure international investors of fairer treatment.
Yastrazhemsky hinted that Yeltsin would offer a plan to resolve "one of the oldest regional conflicts" on earth, but he would not elaborate.
He also disclosed that Foreign Minister Yevgeny Primakov, who travelled to Denver with Yeltsin, met late Thursday night with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, but he would not disclose the agenda for the meeting.
Russia faces some opposition to membership in the group of industrialized nations. Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto was quoted as telling reporters during his flight to the Colorado capital that he would continue to oppose formal recognition of Russia as a member of the G-7.
Russia and Japan have a longstanding dispute over the Kurile Islands which Moscow seized at the end of World War II. The Japanese had made return of the islands to Japanese control a precondition for Russia joining the G-7.
Yastrazhemsky claimed the Japanese have dropped that precondition and that the issue would not dominate Yeltsin's talks today with Hashimoto.
Meanwhile, on Thursday, U.S. officials announced they had reached a trade agreement with the Japanese that will permit the United States greater input into Japan's attempts to deregulate the nation's telecommunications, medical equipment, financial services and housing.
"We have got a formal process now to go over these things with them," said Daniel Tarullo, deputy director of the National Economic Council. The United States had been pushing for greater ability to comment on Japan's deregulatory process, believing it will enhance U.S. companies' ability to compete there.
Other issues at the summit include the Bosnia peace-keeping mission, tensions in the Mideast and environmental policy. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has proposed a world environmental organization that would oversee international enviromental agreements.
Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved.
Terms under which this information is provided to you.