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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Conciliatory in Norway Talks

Combined Reports


OSLO -- President Boris Yeltsin and Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland have agreed to set up a fund to clean up nuclear waste and to work together for global nuclear disarmament.


A joint declaration the two signed during talks Tuesday also sounded a conciliatory note toward NATO, despite Yeltsin's declared concern about the alliance's expansion plans.


"The declaration pointed out the importance of dialogue and cooperation between NATO and Russia through the Partnership for Peace as part of the development of a new European security structure," a Norwegian government statement said.


That language represented a significant softening of the tough attacks Yeltsin has launched against NATO's plans for expansion in the past, including warnings that it would lead to a European war. Norway is the only NATO member to share a border with Russia.


On his arrival in Oslo on Monday, Yeltsin had suggested that he would not object to states joining NATO'S political organization while staying out of its military structure, following the French model. That created some confusion as to precisely what he had in mind, but it appeared to soften his previous position.


Tuesday's declaration said the two countries would create an international fund for the disposal of nuclear waste, the statement said.


It did not specify Russian material, but Norway has voiced concern over Russian nuclear waste dumping and industrial pollution near its borders around the Kola peninsula.


The two sides failed to draft measures to cut emissions from the giant Pechenga nickel complex in Russia's Murmansk region, but both said they would continue to work toward modernizing the plant in the interests of both the environment and productivity.


The declaration said that the neighbors would continue to address global problems through the international organizations of which they are both members. "It placed special importance on work together to stop nuclear testing and weapons of mass destruction," the statement added.


Yeltsin, who seeks a second term in the June presidential elections, has used the 30-hour Norway trip to try to boost his stature at home and reassure Western investors that his market reforms will continue. "Don't be frightened when our Communist candidates for president scream that all power will be taken back, that there will be no privatization, that everything will be nationalized," he told Norwegian business leaders Monday.


Yeltsin and his wife, Naina, left Norway for Moscow on Tuesday afternoon.


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