USIS Foreign Media Reaction 

09 October 1997


Recent coverage of Russian issues focused on three principal topics:
the Sept. 26 signing of arms
control accords by the U.S., Russia and three other former Soviet
states; the ninth session of the
Gore- Chernomyrdin Commission; and developments on the road to reform,
principally President
Yeltsin's speech Sept. 24 indicating that additional government
controls are needed over Russia's
corruption- riddled market economy.

ARMS CONTROL--While several observers welcomed the signing in New York
of a handful of
arms agreements that might clear the way for a new round of radical
reductions in strategic
weapons and prod the Russian parliament to ratify START II, some
Russian and German critics
were not persuaded that this strategy would work. Extending the
deadline for scrapping missiles
covered by START II by five years, said right- of-center Die Welt of
Berlin, will not salve
Russian nationalists' "wounded superpower pride" and does not solve
Moscow's problem--the
lack of funds for scrapping its long-distance missiles. Moscow's
centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta
indicated that Russia, wishing to maintain a "strategic balance" with
the U.S., frets that U.S.
"headway in military technology" might upset parity "somewhere down
the line." The Russian
army's own centrist Krasnaya Zvezda insisted that the revisions of the
ABM Treaty, coupled with
the push to ratify START II, "strengthen the feeling that the U.S. is
out to weaken Russia's
position." Reformist Segodnya, nevertheless, indicated today that the
Russian Foreign Ministry,
armed with the New York deals, plans "to storm the Duma
information-wise, hoping finally to
force" the ratification of START II. 

DOMESTIC REFORMS--Mr. Yeltsin's address on government's role in the
market earned
disparate evaluations from journalists. Nezavisimaya Gazeta maintained
that the president had
"belatedly" decided that only a strong government could rein in the
"free market genie he himself
let out six years ago" and that his words presaged "an authoritarian
political system which may be
the best this country can hope for now." London's conservative Times
more optimistically
believed that Mr. Yeltsin simply was proposing the "reining in of a
cowboy, crony capitalism,"
similar to the one in "America a century ago." Two pieces--one in
Russia and one in
Canada--discussed the implications of a possible third term in office
for Mr. Yeltsin.

GORE-CHERNOMYRDIN (GCC)--Page 7. Editors also offered contrasting
assessments of the
meetings between the U.S. vice president and the Russian prime
minister. Given the problems
plaguing the Mir space station, there was heavy emphasis and
appreciation in the Moscow press
of Mr. Gore's commitment to U.S.-Russian cooperation in space. Russian
onlookers who were
not impressed by the GCC session complained that Washington has yet to
lift trade restrictions
enshrined in the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik amendment. Berlin's Die
Welt agreed with this
Russian argument, but judged that Moscow--by "thwarting" plans for
investments in oil and
natural gas deposits--also is to blame for the failure to jump-start
U.S.-Russia economic ties.
This survey is based on 45 reports from 7 countries, Aug. 12-Oct. 9.
EDITOR:  Mildred Sola Neely

To Go Directly To Quotes By Region, Click Below

Europe East Asia and the Pacific Latin America and the Caribbean

EUROPE RUSSIA: "Diplomats Prepare For Assault On Duma" Aleksandr Koretsky wrote in reformist Segodnya (10/9): "Russia's foreign ministry is preparing to storm the Duma information-wise, hoping finally to force the deputies into ratifying START II. The U.S. State Department is standing by ready to do everything it can to help--Assistant Secretary of State Strobe Talbott is in Moscow to meet with Yevgeny Primakov and, possibly, the Duma's leaders. The Russian foreign ministry evidently has no doubts that parliament will sooner or later endorse the treaty as it is. The U.S. administration seems to count on that, too. The (New York) protocol extending a deadline for START II implementation may become crucial in a dialogue with the Duma." "U.S. MIRACL Threatens Russian Satellites" Yevgeny Fyodorov and Ilya Vinogradov, writing about the fiasco the Americans have suffered in testing an anti-satellite laser weapon, said in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (10/9): "The United States is back to preparing for 'star wars.' Today neither Russia nor any other country can threaten American satellites. Once MIRACL successfully passes all tests, it will be an immediate threat to Russian satellites flying over U.S. territory in near-earth orbits." "Yeltsin To Run For Third Term?" Reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (10/8) front-paged a comment by Veronika Kutsyllo: "Belgium's Le Soir yesterday carried an interview with Russia's presidential press secretary Sergei Yastrzhembsky in which he suggested that Boris Yeltsin could run for a third term. What he said perfectly matches the image of a strong president Yeltsin has again been projecting of late. And Yeltsin's recent actions look like he is in an election campaign, too. Yet it would be wrong to assume that, following Yastrzhembsky's statement yesterday, the Kremlin launched a new campaign to get Yeltsin elected in 2000. Three years are too long, and the Kremlin's young are too ambitious. Two options are possible: Either Yeltsin wants to put pressure on the opposition and make it nervous and rash; or the president's 'friends' are now unsure themselves as to what he really wants and, just in case, say that, basically, he can do anything if he wants to." "START Unlikely To Be Ratified Soon" Mainstream weekly Itogi (10/7) published an article by Aleksandr Golts: "New (ABM) accords must dispel fears about START II, at least among sober-minded deputies in the Duma. But they hardly make the majority. The START II treaty has long since become a political bogey. Even before the new Russo-American agreements, the Communists' leader Gennady Zyuganov had in fact agreed with the defense and foreign ministers who urged ratification. But, he added, their arguments are only fair if considered against the current budget. A total overhaul of the economic policy, the Communists claim, will make it possible to do without START II and start producing new missiles. So there is little hope, notwithstanding the latest successes of our negotiators, that START II will be ratified soon." "A Concept For Relations With 'Near Abroad'" With the subhead, "Over the years that CIS has been in existence Moscow has never formulated a concept of its relations with the 'near abroad," Alexander Bovin commented in mainstream weekly Itogi (10/7), "We have been fighting against NATO enlargement to the East hard and for a long time. However, from the point of view of protection of Russia's fundamental interests, it is more useful to us to give thought to a different matter: Why is Ukraine moving westwards? "If we fail to produce the right answer to this question, we can come up against unwelcome surprises. "Developments in the post-Soviet space depends to a decisive degree on whether Russia succeeds in building a prosperous and democratic state. If it fails, the Commonwealth is doomed, and no diplomacy or policy will be able to avert the disintegration of the CIS. But let us be optimists. Let us believe, as befits the Bolsheviks, even though the former ones, that there are no difficulties that we could not overcome (having first created those difficulties). Meanwhile, let us at a minimum try to do as few foolish things as possible. What about the maximum? Maximum tactfulness, maximum attention." "Political Opposition To START II" According to Vladimir Kostrov in reformist Russky Telegraf (10/4): "The Russian State Duma, mostly its Communist members, is flatly against ratifying the START II Treaty.... And this generated the flanking move with the Primakov-Albright package agreement as an attempt to ensure continuity of the process of Russian-American cooperation in nuclear disarmament. The Russian parliamentarians will hardly raise any noise about this. In their majority they support nuclear arms agreements. Nobody in the Duma actively objects to START III as well. The hitch with ratification is of a purely political nature and for this reason will remain for quite some time. And it is this that the heads of the diplomatic establishments of Russia and the United States are trying to take into account." "ABM Treaty Still A Bulwark Of Strategic Stability--But New Accords Ruin It" Anatoly Dyakov, George Lewis, Pavel Podvig and Teodor Postol commented in centrist Nezavisimoye Voyennoye Obozreniye (10/3): "Overall, the saga of the ABM Treaty and the delimitation agreement amounts to another lost opportunity in the process of building a new relationship between Russia and the United States. The chance for putting the Russian-U.S. relations on a new basis of the principles of equal security is far from exhausted. Ultimately, renunciation of nuclear deterrence as a base for bilateral relations would serve the interests of both countries. In view of the legacy of the Cold War, we cannot expect the road to a new relationship to be simple and easy. However much we would like it, the results of the talks actually ruin the ABM Treaty. If Russia continues to pretend that the delimitation agreement preserves that treaty, we will only create new obstacles, which may prove insurmountable. But if we call a spade a spade, we will thus help both countries overcome the implications of the latest results of the delimitation negotiations." "Strategic Balance Maintained Between Nuclear Powers" Dmitry Gornostayev in New York wrote for centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta(10/1): "The ABM documents signed over the weekend mean that diplomats have so far been up to the mark when it comes to maintaining a strategic balance between the two nuclear powers. But there remain concerns over headway in military technology upsetting the parity somewhere down the line.... Having no industrial capacity to compete with Washington in ABM, Moscow has managed to restrain it by diplomatic and legal methods. The New York accords admittedly improve the chances of START II being ratified in the Duma." "Step To Nuclear-Free World" Melor Sturua of reformist Izvestia (9/30) commented on a package of disarmament documents signed at New York's Waldorf-Astoria Hotel recently: "It was a small but important step to a nuclear-free world. Regarding ABM accords, Washington, to a certain extent, heeded Moscow's concerns when it came to long-range defense missiles, with an element of 'flexibility' envisaged to favor the Americans--they may develop short-range defense missiles to replace the aging Patriots.... All that may be welcome to the Duma, but will get Congress' goat." "Russia's Nuclear Potential May Get Under U.S. Control" Centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/30) front-paged an article by Andrei Korbut: "Some members of the Russian army's General Staff believe that the Americans are in control of our disarmament programs. Russia, they say, inspires respect because of her powerful nuclear 'shield.' We can safely reduce it without compromising her security. But how far can we go with that? The United States has had us promise to destroy all our 'heavy' missiles under START II, which is not good at all. With the 'heavies' cut down and the warheads removed, experts warn, Russia will be left without her nuclear 'shield.' That and using U.S.-made security systems at our nuclear installations will virtually mean placing Russia's nuclear potential under American control, according to people at the Russian army's general staff." "Government To Take Over From Free Market?" Reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (9/25) front-paged a comment by Viktor Ivanov on the Russian president's address to the Federation Council yesterday: "For the first time since reform started, (Yeltsin) has openly stated that a free market has done its bit and must now give place to the government. That is a daring statement--it virtually puts an end to market reforms. Hearing that from a Russian official was impossible only recently. A country with so great a foreign debt, unbalanced finances, and a disastrous drop in production, it would seem, can't even think of replacing the free market with the government. Yeltsin explained that the free market helped Russia get over an economic crisis. The next step will be to make the economy grow, something, Yeltsin emphasized, only the government can do. Will the West accept that? It sure will. The world's experience shows that fast economic growth can only be achieved through calm, natural measures. In other words, leave those alone who are willing to work effectively but put pressure on those who are not. In any case, the government must not overestimate its powers." "What To Do With The Genie?" Tatyana Koshkareva and Rustam Narzikulov held in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/25): "It looks as though Yeltsin has been scared of the free market genie he himself let out six years ago. Watching private capital grow and try to impose its own rules of the game, the president has, rather belatedly, decided that a strong economy presupposes a strong government, as well as a free market. As suggested in his address, the outline of the new Russia is that of an authoritarian political system which may be the best this country can hope for now." "New ABM Agreement May Upset Balance" Vadim Yegorov judged on page one of centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta(9/24): "It looks as if a four-year U.S.-Russia dialogue on an agreement to separate a tactical ABM from a strategic ABM will end with the Americans getting clear advantages. This conclusion has been confirmed by an independent group of experts who believe that the new agreement is a chance for the United States to bypass the ABM Treaty. By having agreed to negotiate and ended up with such disastrous results, the Russian political leadership virtually blessed the United States in starting a new round of the arms race, with the winner known well in advance. This is another in a series of global defeats suffered by the Kremlin, this time in the ABM area." "Andrei Kokoshin: New Defense Minister?" Andrei Barkovsky, commenting on Andrei Kokoshin's new appointment as chief inspector-secretary of the Defense Council, said in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (9/4): "Obviously, this is the position of the chief of all power structures in Russia, something which is termed a defense minister. His are not only decision-making functions, as secretary of the Defense Council, but controlling ones, as chief military inspector. "The principle of civilian control over armed forces, traditional in Western democracies, has finally triumphed in Russia." "Call Off START II" Deputy chairman of the Duma's foreign relations committee Alexei Podberyozkin asserted in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/22): "Implementing START II and a future START III would cause Russia unaffordable financial expenditures not only for the liquidation of weapons but for their replacement in quantities as set by the treaties. Besides, that would fall in time with army reform. So it would make sense if Russia refused to ratify START II and imposed a moratorium on new START treaties, thereby eliminating the current uncertainty regarding the qualitative and quantitative parameters of her strategic rocket forces." "U.S.: Change ABM Or We Pull Out" Gennady Obolensky wrote in centrist, army Krasnaya Zvezda (8/21): "As far as a national ABM is concerned, it is believed that what the United States has in mind is not a wider safety margin in case of a rocket attack but a greater global advantage over Russia and other nuclear powers, let alone Third World nations that the Americans don't like for some reason or other. That and the fact that it has fallen in time with cuts in strategic offensive arms under START II strengthen the feeling that the United States is out to weaken Russia's position. It is like proposing an ultimatum--either you agree to changes in the ABM treaty or we pull out of it and deploy a national ABM system, whether you like it or not." "Learn To Counter U.S. Pressure" Sergei Putilov held in centrist Nezavisimaya Gazeta (8/12): "The United States will not stand idly watching Moscow and Beijing boost their military ties. The Americans assert that the supply of Russian sea-to-sea cruise missiles to China may upset the balance of forces in the Asia-Pacific region. Calling their overwhelming military supremacy a balance of forces must really give them cause for worry.... The high quality of our military technology is not enough for us to keep in the lead. We need to learn to counter the political and economic pressure Washington will use in commercial affairs." GERMANY: "Dance Around The Duma" Jens Hartmann noted in an editorial in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (9/29): "In order to create a benevolent mood in the Duma, strategic weapons will be scrapped not by the year 2003, but by the year 2007.... However, it is doubtful whether this mediation offer will convince the lawmakers of the Duma, which has refused to ratify START II for more than four years. We need not be prophets to say that these doubts, which are based on a mixture of wounded superpower pride and reasonable arguments, will continue to exist. Those who see the lawmakers only as deputies who want to slow down the disarmament train are misjudging the arguments. It is mainly the financing question that has not yet been resolved in START II. Russia is unable to pay for the scrapping of its long-distance missiles.... The extension of the phasing-out period, which is tantamount to a respite for payment, will not change this. "The Russian humiliation by the United States, which pushed through NATO's enlargement to the East and which has kept open all options for the establishment of the nuclear protective shield with an additional agreement to the ABM Treaty, is not only strengthening the skeptical view of Russian hardliners. President Yeltsin...will have great difficulties keeping his recalcitrant lawmakers under control. But if the problem is to ignore parliament, the president has had no scruples. This time, once international pressure is mounting, Yeltsin could lose his patience again. Sources in Moscow are saying that Yeltsin would just ignore the endorsement of parliament for START II. And in the West, nobody would then call him an anti-democrat." "What Kind Of Society Will Market Produce In Russia?" Right-of-center Frankfurter Allgemeine commented (9/25): "Yeltsin is right: A return to (communism) is impossible. But the question is also right what kind of society the market economy in Russia will produce. The diagnosis, however, is questionable: Russia is not suffering from an unbridled market economy. It is the corporate system of mutual dependencies on political and economic leadership that is often in the way of a free market and free competition. And in the Russian economy, the state plays more than a subsidiary role.... Instead of creating dependencies by granting privileges, Moscow must be interested in creating equal chances under equal conditions for everybody. This does not require more state controls but the disentanglement of politics and capital, the containment of corruption, and reasonable economic laws.... A declaration of the primacy of politics over the economy is not enough." BRITAIN: "The Giant Awakes" The conservative Times' editorial held (9/29): "Boris Yeltsin's calls for greater state control over the Russian economy do not mean that Marxism is baying at Russia's gate. They show that the Russian economy, now surging ahead on a tide of foreign investment, is entering the long boom predicted after the death of communism. The regulation that the president proposes is not a return to the old stultifying ways; it is a reining in of a cowboy, crony capitalism that is threatening to fulfill the Leninist caricature of growing inequality, high-level corruption, monopolistic high prices and the enrichment of the few at the expense of the weak and the old. "All this is not a sign of failure: it is an indication that Russia, like America a century ago, is engaged in a frenzied race to get rich. That race, as Western societies have learned, must be run within the rules of the market and society. What Russia needs now is financial transparency, fair competition, a clear legal framework and, above all, a tax system that collects money efficiently and spends it fairly.... A start has been made, and Mr. Yeltsin's determination has taken many by surprise.... Now the president must stop the stirring giant from causing damage as it awakes." CANADA: "Do Not Overlook Yeltsin's Announcement" The left-of-center Calgary Herald (9/8) noted, "Yeltsin's sudden announcement last week that he would not seek a third term when his current term expires...should not be overlooked. it is a welcome gesture that should help stabilize Russian politics. For traditional democracies, Yeltsin's decision to simply obey the constitution, which limits the president to two terms in office, may seem unremarkable. But in post-Cold War Russia, the rule of law has often been challenged in the volatile transition from a command to a market- driven economy.... His move sends a message to his political rivals that the peaceful and democratic road to the presidency will not be blocked and that the jockeying for the succession can be open and above board. Yeltsin's decision should also serve as a reminder to other democratic states that foreign policy support for Russia's neophyte democracy should not be focused completely on one particular individual but should support the larger democratic base within the country as a whole." TURKEY: "Russian Politics" Sami Kohen wondered in mass-appeal Milliyet (9/19), "What is Russia trying to do? Looking at recent developments, one is inevitably suspicious. Russia sells S-300 missiles to the Greek Cypriots. Despite its causing a serious crisis, Russia still confirms that the delivery will take place. Russia joins Greece in an exercise in Aegean airspace. Russia also plans a joint air exercise with Syria. Russia deploys missiles and other heavy weapons in Armenia. Russia's intention to monopolize the transportation of Caspian oil reserves is very obvious. And Russia is becoming more vocal in its complaints regarding the Straits, regulated according to the Montreux Convention. Even these few items are enough to show that there are serious disagreements between Russia and Turkey. The two main reasons for that can be summarized as follows: There are problems that stem from Russia's foreign policy, and there are problems that stem from Russia- Turkey bilateral relations. Russia is not happy with U.S. influence in the Caucasus, and is trying to remind the West of its existence by increasing its power in some Eastern European NATO members and countries in the region. Russia is also disturbed because of a possibility that Turkey might prevent the free movement in the Straits. Turkey's support for Chechnya is also a problem, to which Moscow retaliated by flirting with the PKK. How can this situation be remedied? Dialogue can help overcome disagreements. There are certainly conflicts of interests between the two countries. But there are also a lot of common interests." LATIN AMERICA ARGENTINA: "Detente Process Complete" Leading Clarin commented (10/2): "The arms control accords signed by the United States and Russia have different interpretations with equally positive results for a planet which lived, since the end of the last war, with over a half century of menace as a consequence of the accumulation of massive weapons of destruction.... With this package, the detente process between superpowers is completed. The delay of the Russian Duma in approving START II was, until now, the main drawback for the fulfillment of commitments which, in terms of Yeltsin's government, represent a valuable tool for the strengthening of the state.... "The problem of the existing nuclear arsenals is also the danger of their lack of control.... This is why it is equally important that Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan, which inherited part of the Soviet nuclear arsenals, join the accords signed between Russia and the United States. Even though the world is no longer divided into two hegemonic blocs pointing their weapons at each other, nobody is unaware of the fact that thousands of nuclear warheads remain there, and turning them into museum pieces is no easy task." GORE-CHERNOMYRDIN COMMISSION EUROPE RUSSIA: "Investment Initiative Step In Right Direction" Vladimir Mikheyev commented in reformist Izvestia (9/25): "A symbol of the Yeltsin team's new thinking is opposition to 'some' in Washington seeking to oust Russia from the ex-Soviet domain and declare parts of the Commonwealth of Independent States a 'sphere of special American interests.'... The Gore-proclaimed 'investment initiative' in Samara is a step in the right direction." "No Progress In Clearing Obstacles" Afanasiy Severov said in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily(9/25): "Gore and Chernomyrdin did not go to Samara for nothing. The $10 million offered to that city is the most tangible result of this session. Why Samara? It's all in politics. Samara's Governor Konstantin Titov is probably closest to the government in the Federation Council [the upper house of parliament]--loyalty pays off. If there had not been Samara, it would have had to be invented. Beyond that, there is nothing to crow about. On the one hand, there is a program until the year 2000--a kind of bureaucratic game--on the other hand, there is no progress in clearing real obstacles to cooperation. Seen from a different perspective, the lack of progress could mean a point won by Premier Chernomyrdin in his tug-of-war with First Vice Premier Chubais. Most of Chubais's foreign fans are in the United States. Having problems with America, Russia may decide to try its luck in Europe." "Cold War Obstructions Need To Be Cleared" Vladimir Mikheyev and Yury Nevezhin, writing about what has been done by the GCC commission and what still needs to be done, said in reformist Izvestia (9/24): "Direct investments are not the only positive result of GCC meetings. Far more important for the Russian economy, barely on its way up, is clearing Cold-War obstructions. America's anti-dumping legislation impedes access to the world market for our competitive commodities. Viktor Chernomyrdin stated, 'We often run into problems with our products being barred from the U.S. market.' One could have questioned the usefulness of the ninth session and the sincerity of intentions to build relations anew, had it not been for what has become known as a Statement by the Four, a product of Russian and U.S. business circles. That document is hard to overestimate. Four organizations of which three...having direct investments in Russian businesses have for the first time expressed a firm conviction that the United States must change its behavior, namely, exempt Russia from the Jackson-Vanik restrictions and extend a most-favored treatment to its commodities. In fact, it is the first instance of American business unambiguously calling for freedom of trade. So you may say that, though the sky in Moscow is overcast, the temperatures of GCC discussions are within the range typical of this 'velvety season.'" "Jackson-Vanik Amendment Major Obstacle" Reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (9/24) ran this report by Vadim Bardin and Andrei Sazonov: "The Program-2000 signed by Chernomyrdin and Gore is formulated, as you would expect it to be, so that you might think that the Commission's work went smoothly and successfully. But, as it turns out, there are big problems. Better mutual access to commodity markets presupposes abolishing the Jackson- Vanik amendment. Speaking in Moscow, Gore said that Russia had a market economy, but saying that, alas, is not good enough." "Ultimatums Don't Solve Problems" Nikolai Ivanov, commenting on the work of the GCC's Energy Committee, said in reformist Segodnya (9/24): "One could have accepted all grievances (of U.S. companies), had they themselves demonstrated a desire to meet their partners halfway. More often than not, they show an all-or-nothing attitude toward Russian projects, refusing to compromise even on minor issues. It is too bad that a search for mutual understanding takes much time and effort. But it is important that the Energy Committee seal in documents to be signed a need for partners to consider each other's interests in their search for compromise. Ultimatums will not bring about an investment boom in Russia." "Americans Know How To Stand Up For Their Own" Under this headline, reformist Segodnya (9/23) front-paged a report by Nikolai Ivanov: "God knows whether we will ever see our government uphold the interests of Russian companies abroad, doing that as its prime duty. That kind of approach has been demonstrated by the U.S. leaders at the ninth meeting of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission in Moscow. The main concern of Vice President Al Gore and his team is over American companies not feeling comfortable in the Russian market, their statements all but devoid of 'foreign' and trifling motives like worries about whether Russian reform is irreversible and socially- oriented enough. Business comes first.... The current session differs from the previous ones. Now the Russian negotiators are determined to get concrete results.... The Commission has made some progress.... Most of the problems it is facing today did not arise yesterday. But it is only now that the Russian government, it seems, has begun viewing GCC meetings as a way to help cure mutual ills. The first result of the new approach is that the Americans have stopped acting as mentors, and the talks have switched to a common search for real, constructive solutions." "Hostage Of Russian Space Industry" Sergei Leskov observed on page one of reformist Izvestia (9/23): "The latest snag on the Mir station is the worst in that it occurred when Vice President Al Gore arrived in Moscow for talks with Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. His faith in the Russian space industry may be the chief condition of its continued operation. In any case, constant troubles on Mir provide rich food for thought in the United States concerning future cooperation with Russia in space exploration. The many concessions made to a not too reliable partner have made the American Vice President a hostage of the Russian space industry. So it is hard to imagine what kind of accident on the Mir station might force Al Gore to sound the alarm." "Hard Bargain" Afanasiy Severov said on page one of reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily (9/23): "At the current GCC session, each side is after what the other cannot or will not give in. Clearly, both are asking the highest price possible, the Americans for a concession on the Jackson-Vanik amendment, the Russians for tax privileges. It may happen, though, that neither has what the other is eager for. On the other hand, there is something they share--a joint program of space exploration. Even though American and Russian craft have had difficulties docking in space, a similar operation on Earth yesterday, it seems, went smoothly." "U.S. Hooked On Cooperation In Space" Yevgeny Frolov of reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily stated on page one (9/23): "The American administration appears to be hooked on cooperation with the Russian space industry. Joint missions on Mir are just the beginning. The Alpha project now in the pipeline is much more ambitious and costly. A failure would be painful to the master of the White House and is sure to reflect on Gore's chances as a presidential candidate." "Joint Missions To Continue" The NTV independent television network reported in a news program (9/22): "Because of today's technical problems aboard the Mir orbiting station, the U.S. Congress may question the future of joint (Russian- U.S.) space projects. Last week its members demanded that no more American astronauts be sent to Mir. But NASA says it has no intention now to cancel Atlantis's planned launch and docking with the space station. Good news about the future of cooperation in outer space has come from the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission now in session in Moscow. Russia and the United States have decided to seal in a joint statement their resolve to go ahead with a new project Alpha in keeping with a new schedule. Yury Koptev, director of Russia's space agency, assures that the condition of the Mir station gives no cause for terminating the joint reseach program aboard it." "Problems Aplenty, Time Short" Reformist Segodnya front-paged this report (9/22) by Alexander Koretsky: "The current meeting in many respects differs from the previous ones--it is divided between Moscow and Samara. The Commission's co-chairmen are expected to sign at least one principal document, an Alpha space station deployment schedule.... Aside from that, the co-chairmen will sign a GCC work program until the year 2000 and a memorandum of understanding on the prevention and investigation of air accidents. Gore is in for pretty hard talks with Chernomyrdin on problems that Russia has been urging America to resolve over the past two to three years. Those include discriminatory taxes on Russian commodities exported to the United States. The Russians will draw Al Gore's attention also to a need for Russia and the United States to make their markets equally open for medicines produced by the two countries. In addition to that, they will request the Americans to review quotas on commercial satellite launches, specifically heavy satellite launches, and to lift restrictions on the latter. In short, problems have piled up high, and whether they will be solved, if only partly, will become clear by noon on September 23." "Jackson-Vanik: Joykiller" Sergei Zlobin said in reformist, business-oriented Kommersant Daily(9/19): "Americans consider the provinces a key to Russia's market reforms. Vice President Al Gore is planning to announce Samara as a center of a regional investment initiative. Gore has every reason to believe that he has prepared for the Moscow session well. Besides new regional initiatives, he has brought along the GCC's modified work program until the year 2000 which he and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin are supposed to sign next Tuesday. The Russian premier has done his home-work, too. But you can hardly say that both sides have made equal contributions. The U.S. Congress has yet to abolish the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment." GERMANY: "Sidetracked" Jens Hartmann opined in an editorial in right-of-center Die Welt of Berlin (9/25): "A lot of expectations were certainly placed in Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission meeting that ended yesterday.... But the train that is to bring Russia a flourishing market economy...and offer the United States a market with many new opportunities with 150 million consumers continues to be sidetracked. Even more than a dozen signed declarations cannot obscure one fact: There is a crisis between the United States and Russia, and we can by no means speak of a common timetable for the trip to the year 2000. With the exception of the ban on the production of weapons-grade plutonium, the summit did not produce any tangible results.... It seems that Russia and the United States have currently little to say to each other. Moscow has to concentrate too much on its own problems and does not have time to listen to the advice of the former enemy.... As far as domestic policy is concerned, it is desperately trying to set up a model for an economic recovery, and in international politics Moscow is wandering around without knowing where to go.... But the disrupted relations are of disadvantage to both sides: Russia is carelessly thwarting plans for investments worth billions of dollars, mainly for the exploration of crude oil and natural gas deposits...while the United States, with its trade obstacles, deprives itself of the chance to be successful in Russia. Mutual market access would eliminate this economically nonsensical stalemate--and set in motion the common train a lit bit." EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC CHINA: "Gore's Trip: Relationship Grows, But Still Tenuous" Guo Yadong wrote in the official Communist Party People's Daily Overseas Edition (Renmin Ribao Haiwaiban, 9/24): "The meeting attracts attention because it occurs at the same time that NATO kicks off its eastward enlargement.... Gore's trip to Russia indicates that the relationship between Russia and the United States continues to grow but the association is still tenuous. On one hand, Russia firmly opposes the U.S.' power and influence in Central and East Europe and in the Commonwealth of Independent States region. On the other hand, Russia hopes to cooperate with the United States to push internal reforms in the fields of economy and trade forward. The U.S.-Russian relationship is now characterized both by contention and cooperation." ## For more information, please contact: U.S. Information Agency Office of Public Liaison Telephone: (202) 619-4355 10/9/97 # # #

Return to Foreign Media Reaction Reports page