DATE=6/3/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA/CLINTON (L) NUMBER=2-263119 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: U-S President Bill Clinton has arrived in Moscow to begin a three-day summit with Russia's newly elected president, Vladimir Putin. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports arms control is expected to top the agenda at their first face-to-face meeting since President Putin was elected in March. TEXT: /// OPT /// President Clinton's first destination upon arrival is an informal dinner with President Putin. Russian television news has described the dinner as a way for the two leaders to become better acquainted with each other before what are expected to be a difficult round of talks on Sunday. /// End OPT /// Formal talks between Mr. Clinton and Mr. Putin are scheduled for Sunday afternoon, and are expected to cover a range of issues, including arms control, the war in Chechnya, the Russian economy and Russia's commitment to a free press. Mr. Clinton will try to soften Russian resistance to Washington's desire to build a limited nuclear missile defense shield to defend the United States from attacks by "rogue states" such as Iran or North Korea. Building such a system, however, would require Russia's agreement to amend to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. Russia has refused to consider changing the treaty, which it views as the cornerstone of all arms control agreements. Mr. Putin has also threatened to pull out of all arms control agreements if the United States moves ahead unilaterally. However, there has been talk of a possible Russian counterproposal involving Russian and European participation in the nuclear shield. Mr. Putin, who has recently signed the START-Two arms reduction treaty as well as the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty -- a global ban on nuclear testing -- is also expected to push for dramatic cuts to both sides' nuclear arsenals with a modified START-Three accord. Washington, however, has said Russia's proposal to slash nuclear arsenals to 15-hundred warheads is too low. Experts say Russia's cash-strapped government wants the cuts because it cannot afford the upkeep of its present nuclear arsenal. /// OPT /// Russians like 30-year old Tatyana Safronova believe their new president will defend Russia's interests much more so than their previous president, Boris Yeltsin, ever did. /// Safronova Act in Russian in full and fade under /// "Our relations with the United States change all the time," she says. "One day it's good, the next it's bad. But at the moment people are afraid of Russia, which is very good." /// End Opt /// This will be the two leaders' first face-to-face meeting since President Putin was elected in March. Mr. Putin is regarded as more reserved leader than his predecessor, Mr. Yeltsin, and Russians are expecting him to keep a tough line with Mr. Clinton on nuclear issues as well as western criticism of the military campaign in Chechnya and Russia's commitment to free media. (Signed) NEB/EC/DW/JP 03-Jun-2000 11:37 AM EDT (03-Jun-2000 1537 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .