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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Press Here Not Sold Yet On President Clinton

As American President-elect Bill Clinton prepared to take office on Wednesday, reports in the Russian press revealed that Moscow is still casting a nervous eye toward the new faces of Washington, wondering where Russia will stand as the new administration takes shape.


In a half-page analysis predicting the new administration's positions, the government newspaper Rossiiskiye Vesti told readers not to be fooled by Clinton's campaign promise to make the domestic economy a priority.


Quoting statements from Clinton and his advisers during the campaign and over the three-month transition period, the newspaper reminded readers that the new president had vowed to keep American forces the strongest in the world, and warned that economic aid from the United States to Russia, a priority for the Yeltsin government, could be in jeopardy.


It said that Clinton and his advisers were convinced "that in the coming years, the U. S. will face a whole series of new threats: the possibility of a military conflict between the former Soviet republics, the rise of an extreme-nationalist totalitarian regime in Russia, the spreading of weapons of mass destruction along with the means of obtaining them; and remaining tensions in various regions of the world".


Citing comments from American military leaders, the newspaper said that the new administration would share the belief among Republicans that Russia in 20-25 years would become "a country of enormous economic and military significance, the main competitor and challenge to U. S. national interests".


"This conclusion implies a circumspect approach to developments between the U. S. and Russia in all aspects, first of all a step away from large-scale economic, technical and financial aid", the paper said.


Izvestia, the country's most respected daily, withheld from commentary, saying only that "the new administration's foreign policy and program have still not been worked out".


Moscow's daily Kuranty, commenting on Ukraine's failure to agree with Russia on dismantling of the Soviet nuclear arsenal, urged Clinton to be "tough in the struggle to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons".


Pravda, the government opposition newspaper whose readers include Russian nationalists opposed to the United State's military action in Iraq, mentioned the inauguration only in a brief report about growing tension over the Iraqi conflict in Washington.


Doubts aside, Muscovites eagerly awaited the inauguration, the first to be broadcast on Russian television.