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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

U.S. Delegates Prepare for Summit

Over the next 10 days, eight top-level U.S. delegations will come to Moscow to prepare the ground for the summit meeting between presidents Boris Yeltsin and Bill Clinton scheduled to begin Sept. 27, a senior U.S. diplomat told reporters Monday.


The list of dignitaries set to visit Moscow includes Defense Secretary William Perry, Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and Undersecretary of State Strobe Talbott, as well as the American ambassador to the UN, Madeleine Albright, and a number of key senators and congressmen.


"We expect this summit to be intense and really useful and we are now gearing up for it," the diplomat said. "It will be an effort to build the partnership forward as well as to consolidate where we have come."


He added that he believed the summit would concentrate on issues of trade and investment as well as further progress in the sphere of arms control. But one of the summit's central issues will be the coordination of the two countries' foreign policies.


Russia has often complained in the past year that the United States failed to notify it of major actions it was undertaking in Bosnia and other international hot spots. The U.S. diplomat said he expected steps to be taken at the summit that will formalize U.S.-Russian relations in this sphere by setting up new coordination bodies.


Before the summit, both presidents will address the opening of the UN General Assembly in New York on Sept. 26.


Ambassador Albright will arrive on Sept. 4 after visiting Eastern Europe and the Caucasus to discuss possible steps to resolve conflicts in Georgia and Nagorno-Karabakh.


Defense Secretary Perry's visit will be concerned with the practical aspects of possible joint U.S.-Russian peacekeeping operations. Upon his arrival Sept. 6, Perry is expected to fly with Russian Defense Minister Pavel Grachev to the Totsk testing ground in northern Russia, where 250 Russian and 250 American soldiers from the two nations' peacekeeping units will conduct an exercise.


The exercise has drawn sharp criticism from Russian nationalists objecting to the presence of American troops on Russian territory. In response, the U.S. diplomat pointed out that it followed the first-ever visit to an Air Force base in Louisiana by Russian strategic bombers last week.