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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Moves to Reassure Kohl

MOSCOW -- President Boris. Yeltsin told Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany on Tuesday that the West need fear no retreat from reform after the dismissal of his economic chief, a German spokesman said.


Germany and Russia also moved closere to an understanding on Russian go up withdrawals from eastern Germany -- a vexed issue that serves as a barometer of relations between the two countries. The German spokesman quoted Yeltsin as saying that the removal of acting Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar and appointment of the more conservative Viktor Chernomyrdin was no cause for alarm.


The president, he said, seemed relaxed and in good humor after the trials of the previous day.


"Yeltsin said he had succeeded in preserving reform policies. Both sides had to make compromises but this was a normal affair", the spokesman, Dieter Vogel, told journalists.


Kohl was the first foreign leader to meet with Yeltsin since the Russian leader bowed to conservative pressure and dropped Gaidar at a dramatic session of the country's top legislature Monday.


The chancellor was scheduled to hold talks Wednesday with former President Mikhail Gorbachev, a man widely blamed at home for Russia's economic hardship but still revered in Germany for paving the way to unification.


A delegation of German industrial leaders was expected to meet Chernomyrdin on Wednesday to discuss the future of reform after Gaidar.


Gaidar was chief advocate of the tight monetary policies viewed by Western financial institutions as essential to the country's future. German institutions, among the biggest Western creditors, are particularly concerned about the fate of reform. Key ministers in Gaidar's reform team had said they would resign if Yeltsin dropped their cabinet chief. But there were no early resignations Tuesday.


Economics Minister Andrei Nechayev, Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev and Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Shokhin attended talks between Chernomyrdin and Finance Minister Theo Waigel of Germany.


Waigel's spokesman quoted Chernomyrdin as saying: "I was in the previous government. I endorsed and helped work out the reform program and this program will be continued. That is the opinion of all ministers present".


Yeltsin and Kohl later took off the helicopter from the Kremlin and flew to a dacha north of Moscow.


Vogel said the two leaders were expected to sign an agreement that would speed up the withdrawal of former Soviet troops from eastern Germany.