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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

G-7 Reins On Trade Frustrate Yeltsin

TOKYO - President Boris Yeltsin welcomed a $3 billion credit granted to Moscow on Friday by the worlds leading industrial powers but said he was disappointed they had stopped short of abolishing trade restrictions on Russia.


Yeltsin told a news conference after meeting with the leaders of the Group of Seven at their annual summit that he was happy with the way he was treated at the talks, his second round with G-7 leaders.


"It wasn't a row of teachers sitting at desks and the schoolboy walking in and being browbeaten about every subject under the sun", he said to laughs.


But he said the West's understanding seemed to have limits.


"I spoke in quite serious terms about the question of discrimination in trade", the Russian president said.


"The most dissatisfying aspect of the meeting for me was that, despite all my energetic appeals, the answer I received was: 'Yes, Yes, we understand. It is hard. These problems must be solved'", Yeltsin said.


He said he sought action to lift the restrictions imposed on the former Soviet Union barring military access to high technology and putting pressure on Moscow over human rights.


"It's time to end all this", Yeltsin said.


Yeltsin's tough words seemed designed for a domestic audience, projecting him as a man willing to stand up for Russian interests despite the country's economic weakness.


Yeltsin needs support at home for his struggle with conservative opponents of his market reforms.


British Prime Minister John Major told a news conference he was in favor of easing trade restrictions against Russia. But he said Moscow's heavy subsidies on some commodities, such as fuel, meant this could not be a short-term goal.


The G-7 countrie's own economic troubles as well as uncertainty about the future of political and economic reform in Russia have led to great caution in the West over assistance.


Yeltsin's opponents say Moscow can expect no concrete help from wealthy industrial countries.


"The Tokyo summit cannot disappoint supporters of reform", the Russian president said.


Yeltsin welcomed a $1. 5 billion International Monetary Fund credit extended just before the summit and said he expected a second half to be granted in the autumn.


A $3 billion privatization fund agreed upon at the summit would be paid over 18 months and would be intended to ease the transition of inefficient state industries to private ownership. Some of the grant would fund imports of equipment to modernize privatized plants.


Creation of the privatization fund was the culmination of a three-month drive to boost assistance to Russia which started with a G-7 ministerial meeting in Tokyo in April when Yeltsin faced a referendum on his presidency.


U. S. President Bill Clinton had originally pushed for a $4 billion fund from bilateral and multilateral sources but last month the proposal was scaled back to $1 billion before pre-summit pressure from Washington led to a compromise $3 billion package.


Yeltsin did not escape criticism from one journalist over his handling of relations with his host country, Japan, that have long been overshadowed by a territorial dispute.


Japan is demanding the return of four islands seized by Soviet troops at the end of World War II. Yeltsin canceled a visit to Tokyo at short notice last year for fear of criticism at home and in Japan over the sensitive issue.


He said he planned to discuss the issue when he visited Tokyo on a visit in October, but added:


"I can't just promise (some concession) or I may need a visa just to get back home.


"They may applaud me out of the country here but they might not let me back in (to Russia)", he laughed, with Japanese Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa sitting impassively at his side.