Install

Get the latest updates as we post them — right on your browser

. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Calls Up Clinton, Common Man Unhappy

President Boris Yeltsin on Wednesday both cabled and telephoned his congratulations to President-elect Bill Clinton, expressing hope for growing cooperation.


"The relations of partnership between our countries were established during the Bush presidency, and Russia and its president hope for a continuity of the process", Yeltsin's spokesman, Vyacheslav Kostikov, told The Associated Press. Yeltsin "hopes for development and strengthening of good relations".


While Russian officials welcomed the new president, many Russians privately expressed regret that the man who had encouraged the fall of communism in the Soviet Union would be leaving the White House.


"Bush and his administration did all they could to support our democracy", said Vyacheslav Usachev, a leader of the pro-reform Russian Federation People's Party and a Cold War-era diplomat. "Maybe Clinton will do more, but I liked Bush because he brought our countries closer together".


For Russians, Bush was a known element who was certain to continue close relations between the two countries. Clinton, on the other hand, focused his campaign on domestic issues, and rarely spoke of relations with Russia. He does not have the personal relationships with the leaders of the former Soviet Union that Bush prided himself on.


Dmitry Volkogonov, defense advisor to President Yeltsin, expressed concern about Washington-Moscow relations during past Democratic Administrations.


"I hope that it will be a demise of that unpleasant tradition in which, when Democrats came before, relations worsened, when Republicans came, relations improved", he told The Moscow Times.


Mikhail Gorbachev, who was himself swept out of power in December, 1991, said that generational change was healthy for America.


"That America was looking for change was evident to Gorbachev during his travels to America", spokesman Vladimir Polyakov said.


Much as Americans lamented the fall from power of Gorbachev last year, many Russians seemed more sorry to see Bush go than his own countrymen did.


"During Bush's presidency, we developed more contact with Russia", said Andrei Matvichuk, 23, a local businessman. "Many of my friends have the chance now to travel to America".


The Russian parliament followed Yeltsin's suit and also cabled congratulations to Clinton. During a scheduled debate on the


Marina Yalisheva, 21, student: "Nothing will change for Russia. Clinton is the same as Bush".


START arms control treaty, one legislator suggested that its ratification, which came Wednesday, would welcome the new president with a gesture of goodwill.


"Yes, we should show them a sign of our support and at the same time support ourselves", said parliament speaker Ruslan Khasbulatov in response to the idea.


But hardline nationalist Vitaly Sevastyanov had his own idea.


"Let Bill Clinton's own supporters give him gifts", he said. "We are still Russia".