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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Primakov Tells Gore Budget Worthy of Financial Support




DAVOS, Switzerland -- Prime Minister Yevgeny Primakov promoted his country's draft budget to U.S. Vice President Al Gore as a spending plan worthy of Western financial support, a senior U.S. official said Friday.


Gore in turn expressed Washington's continued concern about the flow of Russian ballistic missile technology to Iran and said U.S.-Russian commercial cooperation in space could not expand if the problem continued, the official said.


The two men did not discuss the situation in the Serbian province of Kosovo because Primakov had already discussed this with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright this week, said the official, who asked not to be identified.


The men met while attending the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in the Swiss resort of Davos.


Primakov stressed the political achievement that getting a budget through the lower house of parliament represented, the official said. The State Duma approved the budget on third reading Friday.


But the United States and the International Monetary Fund think some of the assumptions in the deficit spending plan seem dubious.


"We are urging Primakov and his officials to really get to the bottom of the questions that the IMF has about this," the official said.


The suspended loan package that the IMF extended to Russia last year was not directly addressed, said the official, who was present.


At the talks, Gore stressed to Primakov Washington's concern about Russian missile technology making its way to Iran, the official said, linking it to the future of commercial cooperation in space.


"It's a large-scale endeavor already, and it could grow much larger, but there is a cloud over this and that is the question of whether or not the Russian government can effectively control the flow of rocket technology to Iran," he said.


"If this does not happen, it is hard to imagine how there can be continued expansion of the partnership we have built with them."


Existing contracts worth around $700 million won't be canceled, he said.


A news release issued by the Russian delegation confirmed the men discussed the budget and nonproliferation issues.


Gore and Primakov are scheduled to meet again in Washington from March 23 through March 25 as part of a series of regular talks between high-level commissions from both countries.