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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Seeks Aid, Stature At Summit

TOKYO - President Boris Yeltsin arrived in Tokyo on Thursday to offers of credits from world leaders, but said Russia was not coming to the Group of Seven leading industrialized nations summit as a supplicant but as a Great Power.


British officials said the leaders of the G-7 nations had agreed to a $2 billion package to help privatize Russian industry, aimed at easing the country's transition to a market economy.


But U. S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen later said Washington was pushing for a larger $3 billion grant to be paid over 18 months.


"I'm optimistic we'll have that in place by the end of this session", he said after a second day of talks between the leaders of the United States, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada.


Yeltsin, who is to meet G-7 leaders on Friday, said before leaving Moscow that he was not going to Tokyo to beg for aid.


"Russia will not play the role of supplicant but that of a Great Power, influencing the political and economic situation in the world", Yeltsin told Interfax.


On arrival in Tokyo, he bowed to the sensitivities of his Japanese hosts over a territorial dispute over the Kuril Islands, saying that he believed all bilateral problems could be solved by talks.


He expressed regret over the postponement at short notice of a planned state visit to Japan last year. Later, according to a Japanese spokesman, he told Prime Minister Kiichi Miyazawa at a brief bilateral meeting that he now planned to visit Tokyo in September or October.


Yeltsin called off last year's visit four days before it was due to take place because of fears the dispute over the islands, seized by the Soviet Union from Japan at the end of World War II, could bar the way to any accord.


Japan responded to Yeltsin's approach by agreeing to omit from the G-7 political declaration a passage referring to Japan's territorial claim.


But Miyazawa and Yeltsin did touch on the issue in their talks Thursday.


Before leaving Moscow, Yeltsin also told Interfax that one of his main aims at the summit would be to stop what he called trade discrimination against post-communist Russia.


U. S. officials had hinted on Wednesday that they were ready to act quickly to lift remaining Cold War trade restrictions on Russia - something that Yeltsin could present as a political victory at home.


They said they hoped the major trade curbs, imposed against the Soviet Union two decades ago to force Moscow to liberalize emigration and human rights policies, could soon be lifted. Restrictions under Cocom - the Coordinating Committee for Multilateral Export Controls - limiting transfer of sophisticated technology to Russia, could also be reviewed.


Yeltsin and his foreign minister, Andrei Kozyrev, are under pressure at home from hardliners who accuse them of selling out Russian interests to the West, which they say has cheered on reforms in Russia but has failed to back that up with money.


Political sources at the summit said, however, Yeltsin was denied a request to append Russia's name to Thursday's G-7 joint political declaration.


They said Yeltsin asked Japanese Miyazawa in a letter dated June 25 that Russia be included in the declaration as testimony of the "cooperative relationship" between Moscow and the G-7.


A spokesman for Yeltsin declined comment on the issue.


Bentsen said the proposed new $3 billion privatization fund would consist of $500 million in technical assistance from G-7 countries, $1 billion in export credits to help modernize Russian private industry and $1 billion from the World Bank and other institutions.


The other $500 million would be World Bank payments to help smooth privatization in communities dominated by one plant or industry.