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Voice of America, 97-12-04

Voice of America: Selected Articles Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Voice of America <gopher://gopher.voa.gov>


CONTENTS

  • [01] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)
  • [02] GERMANY / POLAND (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)
  • [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY MAX RUSTON (NEW YORK)
  • [04] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)
  • [05] U-S-YELTSIN BALTICS (S ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)

  • [01] EURO STOCKS (S-ONLY) BY PAUL FRANCUCH (LONDON)

    DATE=12/4/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223667
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: PRICES WERE HIGHER ON STOCK MARKETS OF EUROPE THURSDAY. PAUL FRANCUCH HAS THE CLOSING FIGURES FROM OUR OFFICES IN LONDON.

    TEXT: MARKET ANALYSTS GAVE VARIOUS REASONS FOR THE ADVANCES, RANGING FROM BETTER ECONOMIC NEWS IN THE FAR EAST TO THE FACT MARKETS TRADITIONALLY RALLY THIS TIME OF YEAR AROUND THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SEASON.

    WHATEVER THE REASON, SOLID ADVANCES WERE POSTED IN FRANKFURT AND IN IN LONDON, WHERE THE "FINANCIAL TIMES" 100 INDEX ADVANCED BY MORE THAN TWO-PERCENT, CLOSING UP ALMOST 112-POINTS. THE GERMAN "DAX 30" INDEX GAINED 57-POINTS AND ANOTHER 85-POINTS IN TRADING BY COMPUTER AFTER THE BOURSE CLOSED. THE PARIS "CAC 40" INDEX POSTED A MORE SUBDUED GAIN OF 12-POINTS.

    THE U-S DOLLAR TRADED FRACTIONALLY HIGHER AGAINST THE GERMAN MARK AND ALMOST A CENT HIGHER AGAINST THE BRITISH POUND.

    GOLD CONTINUED ITS DECLINE -- DOWN THREE-DOLLARS-50 CENTS IN THE LONDON CLOSING FIX, WHICH SET THE PRICE AT 288-DOLLARS-65 CENTS AN OUNCE. (SIGNED)
    NEB/PCF/RAE
    04-Dec-97 1:44 PM EST (1844 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [02] GERMANY / POLAND (L ONLY) BY KYLE KING (BONN)

    DATE=12/4/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223661
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: GERMAN CHANCELLOR HELMUT KOHL SAYS HE HOPES POLAND WILL BECOME A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITY BY THE END OF THE CENTURY. VOA'S KYLE KING REPORTS THE CHANCELLOR MADE THE COMMENTS DURING A BRIEF VISIT TO THE GERMAN-POLISH BORDER.

    TEXT: MR. KOHL WENT TO THE BORDER TO GET A FIRST HAND LOOK AT A NEW WIDER CROSSING POINT THAT HAS BEEN OPENED TO ACCOMMODATE THE INCREASING AMOUNT OF TRAFFIC BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES. WITH VISITING POLISH PRIME MINISTER JERZY BUZEK AT HIS SIDE, MR. KOHL CALLED THE NEW BRIDGE ACROSS THE ODER RIVER A SYMBOL OF FRIENDSHIP BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES.

    MR. KOHL SAID HE HOPED POLAND WOULD BECOME A MEMBER OF THE EUROPEAN UNION AS QUICKLY AS IT WOULD BECOME A MEMBER OF NATO, A MOVE EXPECTED IN 1999. MR. BUZEK, WHO IS ON HIS FIRST VISIT TO GERMANY SINCE BECOMING PRIME MINISTER LAST MONTH, THANKED MR. KOHL FOR SUPPORTING POLAND'S BID TO JOIN EUROPEAN INSTITUTIONS. THE POLISH LEADER SAID THE OPENING OF THE NEW FOUR LANE BRIDGE WOULD INCREASE WESTERN STABILITY AND BRING INCREASING PROSPERITY TO THE EAST.

    THE NEW ODER BRIDGE WAS A JOINT GERMAN-POLISH PROJECT THAT BEGAN IN 1993. OFFICIALS HOPE THE FOUR LANE SPAN WILL HELP RELIEVE THE LONG DELAYS THAT HAVE STRAINED TRAFFIC ON THE INCREASINGLY BUSY BORDER. (SIGNED)
    NEB/KBK/PCF
    04-Dec-97 11:55 AM EST (1655 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [03] N-Y ECON WRAP (S & L) BY MAX RUSTON (NEW YORK)

    DATE=12/4/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223679
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: STOCK PRICES IN THE UNITED STATES ENDED THE DAY (THURSDAY) SLIGHTLY HIGHER FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF ENCOURAGING U-S ECONOMIC DATA. V-O-A'S MAX RUSTON HAS THE LATEST FINANCIAL NEWS IN NEW YORK.

    TEXT: THE DOW JONES INDUSTRIAL AVERAGE CLOSED UP 18 POINTS AT EIGHT-THOUSAND-FIVE. THE STANDARD AND POOR'S 500 INDEX FELL FOUR POINTS, CLOSING AT 973.

    STOCKS ENJOYED A STRONG RALLY EARLY IN THE DAY AFTER THE U-S GOVERNMENT RELEASED FIGURES SHOWING THAT BUSINESS PRODUCTIVITY IN THE THIRD QUARTER ROSE AT ITS FASTEST RATE IN NEARLY FIVE YEARS. THE NUMBER OF AMERICANS APPLYING FOR FIRST TIME UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS FELL FOR THE SECOND CONSECUTIVE WEEK.

    BANKING STOCKS, INCLUDING CITICORP AND WELLS FARGO, WERE UP SHARPLY. SHARES OF THE WALT DISNEY ENTERTAINMENT COMPANY WERE DOWN AFTER THE FIRM'S CHAIRMAN, MICHAEL EISNER EXERCISED SOME HIS EXECUTIVE STOCK OPTIONS. HIS SALE OF MORE THAN SEVEN MILLION SHARES LEFT HIM WITH PROFITS TOTALLING MORE THAN HALF-A-BILLION DOLLARS.

    /// REST OPTIONAL FOR LONG ///

    ANOTHER CORPORATE PERSONALITY IN THE NEWS WAS GARY WENDT, CHAIRMAN OF G-E CAPITAL, A PART OF THE INTERNATIONAL CONGLOMERATE GENERAL ELECTRIC. MR. WENDT AND HIS WIFE LORNA JORGENSON WENDT REACHED A PRECEDENT-SETTING MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR DIVORCE SETTLEMENT HIGHLIGHTING THE IMPORTANCE OF WHAT HAVE BECOME KNOWN AS "CORPORATE WIVES." MS. WENDT, WHO WAS NOT EMPLOYED OUTSIDE THE HOME, HAD REQUESTED HALF THE FAMILY'S ASSETS AND AN EQUAL PORTION OF HER HUSBAND'S FUTURE RETIREMENT BENEFITS.

    MR. WENDT WANTED TO GIVE HER LESS. BUT A JUDGE APPEARS TO HAVE SIDED WITH MS. WENDT, AGREEING WITH HER CLAIM THAT SHE AND HER HUSBAND ENGAGED IN AN EQUAL PARTNERSHIP DURING THEIR 32 YEAR MARRIAGE.

    AND THE WORLD'S BEST-KNOWN SEWING MACHINE MANUFACTURER, SINGER, ANNOUNCED A MAJOR RESTRUCTURING PLAN. MORE THAN FIVE THOUSAND JOBS WILL BE CUT AND MANUFACTURING WILL BE SHIFTED TO LOWER COST CENTERS OF PRODUCTION. SINGER SAYS THE PLAN WILL REDUCE ITS COST BASE BY 104 MILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. (SIGNED) NEB/NY/MPR/LSF/PT
    04-Dec-97 4:44 PM EST (2144 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [04] THURSDAY'S EDITORIALS BY ANDREW N. GUTHRIE (WASHINGTON)

    DATE=12/04/97
    TYPE=U-S EDITORIAL DIGEST
    NUMBER=6-10472
    TELEPHONE=619-3335
    EDITOR=ASSIGNMENTS
    CONTENT=

    /// ED'S, DATED AFTER 10 P-M E-S-T TODAY!! ///

    INTRO: FOR THE SECOND DAY, U-S NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL COLUMNS ARE FILLED WITH REACTION TO THE DECISION TUESDAY OF ATTORNEY GENERAL JANET RENO NOT TO CALL FOR AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL TO INVESTIGATE 1996 CAMPAIGN FUND RAISING IRREGULARITIES.

    OTHER TOPICS UNDER DISCUSSION INCLUDE THE ECONOMIC BAILOUT OF SOUTH KOREA; THE GLOBAL WARMING CONFERENCE IN JAPAN; THE DECISION TO ALLOW MEAT TO BE IRRADIATED TO MAKE IT SAFER TO EAT; AND THE U-N PULLOUT FROM HAITI.

    NOW, HERE WITH A CLOSER LOOK AND ONE OR TWO QUOTES, ___________________ AND TODAY'S EDITORIAL DIGEST.

    TEXT: JANET RENO RULED TUESDAY THAT THERE WAS NOT ENOUGH EVIDENCE THAT A CRIME HAD BEEN COMMITTED BY EITHER PRESIDENT CLINTON AND VICE PRESIDENT GORE IN MAKING TELEPHONE CALLS FROM THEIR OFFICES SOLICITING DONATIONS FOR LAST YEAR'S PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN. THE DECISION, WIDELY ANTICIPATED, HAS CREATED A STORM OF CONTROVERSY, WITH U-S IN THE MIDDLE OF IT. THE PAPERS, LIKE THE PUBLIC, ARE WIDELY DIVIDED ON THE ISSUE. HERE'S "THE WASHINGTON POST'S" REACTION.

    VOICE: DESPITE THE HIGHLY CRITICAL RESPONSE OF MANY REPUBLICANS AND OTHERS, WE THINK SHE DID THE RIGHT AND REASONABLE THING. ...SINCE MS. RENO MEANS TO HANG ON TO THE CAMPAIGN FINANCE INVESTIGATION, THE DEPARTMENT SHOULD AGREE TO ADDRESS CERTAIN BASIC QUESTIONS PUBLICLY AND SHOULD EVENTUALLY LAY OUT ITS KEY FACTUAL FINDINGS THE WAY AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL WOULD.

    TEXT: TAKING EXCEPTION TO THAT VIEW IS "THE CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR" IN BOSTON, WHICH CALLS HER DECISION "DUBIOUS."

    VOICE: JANET RENO HAS MADE HER DECISION, BUT WE CAN'T HELP WISHING SHE HAD HEEDED F-B-I CHIEF LOUIS FREEH. MR. FREEH WAS REPORTED TO HAVE COUNSELED THE ATTORNEY GENERAL TO APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL ... [MR.] FREEH'S CONCERN, WIDELY SHARED, IS THAT MS. RENO'S JUSTICE DEPARTMENT IS TOO POLITICALLY ENCUMBERED TO PURSUE THE CREDIBLE, OBJECTIVE INVESTIGATION NEEDED TO FOLLOW ALLEGATIONS OF FUND RAISING MISDEEDS WHEREVER THEY MAY LEAD.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: "USA TODAY" FEELS THAT WHILE THE DECISION WAS CORRECT AS FAR AS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S NARROW INTERPRETATION OF THE LAW IS CONCERNED, THE WHOLE MATTER OF CAMPAIGN FUNDING NEEDS TO BE INVESTIGATED. SO, SAYS THE PAPER:

    VOICE: CONGRESS COULD, WHEN IT RECONVENES IN JANUARY, PASS A SPECIAL LAW REQUIRING SUCH AN APPOINTMENT. BETTER YET, IT COULD APPOINT A COUNSEL WITH BROAD AUTHORITY TO INVESTIGATE CRIMINAL VIOLATION OF CAMPAIGN-FINANCE LAW IN ALL FEDERAL CAMPAIGNS IN '96 AND PERHAPS FUTURE YEARS AS WELL. ..... COMING TOGETHER IN SUPPORT OF SUCH LEGISLATION WOULD BE A TEST OF WHETHER EITHER [THE DEMOCRAT OR THE REPUBLICAN] PARTY IS SERIOUS ABOUT ENFORCING CAMPAIGN LAWS, TO SAY NOTHING OF PLUGGING THE GAPING LOOPHOLES FROM WHICH THEY ALL BENEFIT.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: "THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER," CALLING THE CAMPAIGN FINANCING RULES "A DARK AND TANGLED FOREST" SUGGESTS:

    VOICE: JANET RENO SHOULD HAVE APPOINTED AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL. HOW CAN THE PUBLIC TRUST HER FINDINGS?

    TEXT: BUT IN MIAMI, HER HOMETOWN, MS. RENO DRAWS SUPPORT FROM "THE MIAMI HERALD," WHICH NOTES:

    VOICE: .... GIVE MS. RENO ALL DUE CREDIT. SHE FELT BOUND BY HER DUTY TO APPLY THE LAW AS SHE INTERPRETED IT. THAT WAS THE HARDEST PATH TO TAKE. THE **EASIEST** [ITALICS FOR EMPHASIS] PATH, BY FAR, WOULD HAVE BEEN TO ASK FEDERAL JUDGES TO APPOINT AN INDEPENDENT COUNSEL.

    TEXT: THE BIG INTERNATIONAL STORY ELICITING COMMENT IS THE HUGE INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND BAILOUT OF SOUTH KOREA, FOR ABOUT 55-BILLION DOLLAR, THE LARGEST EVER. THE LOS ANGELES TIMES, IN A REFERENCE TO THE REFORMS THAT GO WITH THE LOAN, CALLS IT "BITTER MEDICINE."

    VOICE: IN RETURN, SEOUL HAS BEEN FORCED TO AGREE TO A SPECTRUM OF REFORMS THAT OVER TIME SHOULD REVIVIFY THE WORLD'S 11TH LARGEST ECONOMY. BUT IN THE SHORT TERM THINGS ARE LIKELY TO BE TUMULTUOUS. ... GOVERNMENT POLICIES THAT HELPED SPUR MONUMENTAL GROWTH OVER THE COURSE OF A GENERATION ALSO FOSTERED SHAMELESS CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION, WHILE BUFFERING TOO MUCH OF THE ECONOMY FROM THE REALITIES OF THE MARKET.

    TEXT: "THE NEW YORK TIMES," UPSET THAT DETAILS OF THE HUGE LOAN ARE SECRET, MUSES:

    VOICE: IT IS HARD TO JUSTIFY THE TRADITION OF SECRECY IN MONETARY FUND BAILOUTS WHEN TENS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS ARE INVOLVED, ALL OF IT RAISED IN ONE WAY OR ANOTHER FROM TAXPAYERS IN AMERICA AND OTHER NATIONS. THE POTENTIAL EMBARRASSMENT TO SOUTH KOREA OF DISCLOSING THE TERMS OF THIS PACKAGE IS EASILY OUTWEIGHED BY THE NEED TO KNOW WHAT THE FUND HAS EXTRACTED FOR ITS INVESTMENT.

    /// OPT ///

    IF THE TERMS ARE TOUGH BUT REASONABLE, SOUTH KOREA, WITH A WELL-TRAINED WORK FORCE AND ROBUST RATES OF SAVING AND INVESTMENT, SHOULD SOON RETURN TO RAPID GROWTH. /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: THE GLOBAL WARMING CONFERENCE IN KYOTO CONTINUES, AND TODAY'S "MIAMI HERALD," WORRIED ABOUT A REPORTED DROP IN WORLD OIL PRICES, AND THE IMPLIED GREATER POLLUTION, WANTS TO SEE THE U-S MODIFY ITS POSITION.

    VOICE: THE UNITED STATES, WITH LESS THAN FIVE-PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S PEOPLE, PRODUCES MORE THAN 25-PERCENT OF THE WORLD'S GREENHOUSE GASES. ... THE UNITED STATES MUST SUPPORT REASONABLE TARGETS FOR REDUCTIONS IN INDUSTRIALIZED NATIONS OF THE THREE MAJOR GREENHOUSE GASES ON A SHORTER TIMETABLE AND ALLOW SOME FLEXIBILITY TOWARD REDUCTION GOALS FOR DEVELOPING COUNTRIES. ... SURELY THE COUNTRY THAT PRODUCES THE MOST GREENHOUSE GASES MUST ACCEPT COMMENSURATE RESPONSIBILITY FOR CURBING ITS MAJORITY SHARE OF THE PROBLEM.

    TEXT: AS REGARDS THIS WEEK'S DECISION TO ALLOW THE IRRADIATION OF MEAT TO KILL BACTERIA, MAINE'S "PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" APPLAUDS THE MOVE.

    VOICE: // OPT // IRRADIATION INVOLVES EXPOSING FOODS TO RADIATION. DOING SO KILLS HARMFUL BACTERIA. THE PROCESS LEAVES NO RADIATION IN THE MEAT, AND DECADES OF STUDY HAVE SHOWN IT NOT TO HARM THE MEAT. // END OPT //

    ...THE FDA HAS TAKEN AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARD SAFER FOOD; NOW IT'S UP TO MEAT PACKERS AND CONSUMERS TO STAY VIGILANT.

    VOICE: IN SOUTH AFRICA, THE TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION COMMISSION HAS BEEN HEARING GRUESOME TESTIMONY CONNECTING WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, FORMER WIFE OF NELSON MANDELA, TO MURDERS AND OTHER CRIMES DURING THE STRUGGLE TO END APARTHEID. "THE BOSTON GLOBE" SAYS OF THE LATEST REVELATIONS:

    VOICE: THIS DEPRESSING STORY DOES NOT DIMINISH THE ANTIAPARTHEID CAUSE. IT IS TO THE NEW SOUTH AFRICA'S CREDIT THAT IT WOULD BE WILLING TO EXPOSE AN ICON ONCE KNOWN AS THE 'MOTHER OF THE COUNTRY.' IT IS A TALE OF A WOMAN CORRUPTED BY POWER. IF THERE ARE LESSONS HERE, THEY ARE THAT THE END CANNOT JUSTIFY THE MEANS AND THAT BEING AN ENEMY OF ONE OPPRESSION DOES NOT ENTITLE THE OPPRESSED TO IMPOSE ANOTHER, AS THE WORLD ALSO LEARNED FROM FIDEL CASTRO AND THE SANDINISTAS.

    /// OPT ///

    TEXT: IN MAINE, "THE PORTLAND PRESS HERALD" ADOPTS A WAIT AND SEE ATTITUDE.

    VOICE: THE CHARGES MADE AGAINST WINNIE MADIKIZELA-MANDELA IN A WEEK-AND-A-HALFS TELLING OF TALES OF HORROR ARE JUST THAT: CHARGES. ONLY IF THEY ARE TURNED OVER TO POLICE FOR INVESTIGATION AND IF A SUCCESSFUL PROSECUTION FOLLOWS DO THEY BECOME ANYTHING MORE. ...THE CHARGES ARE SERIOUS ENOUGH, HOWEVER, THAT THE RULING AFRICAN NATIONAL CONGRESS SHOULD THINK LONG AND HARD BEFORE MAKING THE FORMER HEROINE OF THE LIBERATION STRUGGLE ITS DEPUTY PRESIDENT. ...EVERYTHING THAT HAD BEEN FOUGHT FOR BY NELSON MANDELA, THE BELOVED 'FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY' AND FORMER HUSBAND OF [MS.] MADIKIZELA-MANDELA, WOULD THEN BE IN JEOPARDY.

    TEXT: TURNING TO THE MIDDLE EAST, "NEWSDAY", MAKES A PASSIONATE PLEA FOR THE CONTINUATION OF THE U-N'S SO-CALLED "OIL FOR GOOD" PROGRAM THAT ALLOWS IRAQ TO SELL SOME CRUDE OIL TO BUY MEDICINE AND FOOD FOR ITS PEOPLE. SAYS THE PAPER:

    VOICE: THERE IS NO QUESTION THAT THE PROGRAM SHOULD CONTINUE, AND PERHAPS BE INCREASED ENOUGH TO ENSURE THAT IRAQIS' HARDSHIPS ARE FURTHER EASED. BUT IN AGREEING TO THIS, PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON MUST REMIND THE WAVERING ALLIES THAT THE IRAQIS' SUFFERING IS THE RESULT OF [SADDAM] HUSSEIN'S REFUSAL TO ABIDE BY HIS OWN AGREEMENTS. AND [PRESIDENT] CLINTON MUST NOT RELENT ON THE PUSH TO GET U-N ACCESS TO ALL OF [SADDAM] HUSSEIN'S SUSPECTED WEAPONS SITES.

    /// END OPT ///

    TEXT: LASTLY, IN REFLECTING ON THE PEACEKEEPING MISSION TO HAITI, NOW BEING WITHDRAWN BY THE UNITED NATIONS, '"THE ORLANDO SENTINEL" SAYS OF THE FORCE'S EFFECT: "SO FAR, SO GOOD."

    VOICE: WITH LITTLE FANFARE, [CEREMONY AND PUBLIC ATTENTION] A MILESTONE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE TO THE UNITED STATES -- BUT PARTICULAR IMPORTANCE TO FLORIDA -- HAS BEEN REACHED: THE END OF AN INTERNATIONAL PEACEKEEPING MISSION. THERE WAS SCANT NOTICE BECAUSE HAITI IS FAIRLY QUIET THESE DAYS, NOT THE ROILING ENVIRONMENT THAT PROMPTED A MASS EXODUS OF HAITIANS A FEW YEARS AGO. ....IT'S NOT THAT ALL IS WELL IN HAITI. // OPT // IN A LIST OF COUNTRIES THAT HAVE BEEN RUN INTO THE GROUND BY SHAMELESS DICTATORS, HAITI WOULD RANK AT, OR VERY CLOSE TO, THE TOP. // END OPT // ...STILL, HAITI IS MAKING AN ENCOURAGING NEW START. ...[THE] ECONOMY ...IS ON SOMEWHAT STEADIER GROUND. THE MAIN REASON HAITIANS WERE LEAVING IN 1994 WAS THAT THEY SAW LITTLE HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. TODAY, THOUGH, WITH THE BENEFIT OF INTERNATIONAL AID AND THE RETURN OF SOME PRIVATE INVESTMENT, THE PICTURE ISN'T QUITE AS GRIM. ...THE GOING WILL BE SLOW, BUT AT LEAST HAITI IS MOVING FORWARD A STEP AT A TIME.

    TEXT: ON THAT ENCOURAGING NOTE, WE CONCLUDE THIS BRIEF SAMPLING OF EDITORIAL OPINION FROM TODAY'S U-S PRESS.
    NEB/ANG/RAE
    04-Dec-97 10:45 AM EST (1545 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


    [05] U-S-YELTSIN BALTICS (S ONLY) BY RON PEMSTEIN (STATE DEPARTMENT)

    DATE=12/4/97
    TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT
    NUMBER=2-223671
    CONTENT=
    VOICED AT:

    INTRO: THE UNITED STATES IS WELCOMING RUSSIAN PRESIDENT BORIS YELTSIN'S PLEDGE TO WITHDRAW RUSSIAN SOLDIERS FROM THE BALTIC REGION. RON PEMSTEIN REPORTS FROM THE STATE DEPARTMENT.

    TEXT: PRESIDENT YELTSIN MADE THE OFFER IN SWEDEN TO CUT LAND AND NAVAL UNITS BY 40-PERCENT IN NORTHWEST RUSSIA STARTING IN 1999. THE RUSSIAN DEFENSE MINISTER SAYS THOSE UNITS WILL BE TAKEN FROM KALININGRAD, THE RUSSIAN ENCLAVE BETWEEN POLAND AND LITHUANIA, AS WELL AS FROM ST. PETERSBURG.

    THE YELTSIN OFFER FOLLOWS RUSSIA'S PROPOSAL FOR A SECURITY TREATY WITH THE BALTIC COUNTRIES AS AN ALTERNATIVE TO THEIR EFFORT TO JOIN NATO. THE BALTIC NATIONS REJECTED THE PROPOSED TREATY.

    STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESMAN JAMES RUBIN SAYS THE BALTIC COUNTRIES SHOULD ALSO DECIDE HOW TO RESPOND TO THE PROPOSED TROOP CUTS.

    /// RUBIN ACT ///

    WE WELCOME RUSSIAN EFFORTS TO IMPROVE RELATIONS WITH ITS NEIGHBORS BUT WE ALSO RESPECT THE INHERENT RIGHT OF THE BALTIC STATES TO CHOOSE THE MEANS TO ENSURE THEIR OWN SECURITY.

    /// END ACT ///

    RUSSIA WITHDREW ITS TROOPS FROM THE THREE BALTIC COUNTRIES IN 1994. (SIGNED)
    NEB/RP/GKT/RAE
    04-Dec-97 2:23 PM EST (1923 UTC)
    NNNN
    Source: Voice of America


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