Clinton-Yeltsin Summit Announced

June/July 1998

Reversing his earlier position, President Bill Clinton announced on July 6 that he and President Boris Yeltsin would hold a summit meeting in Russia in early September, even though Moscow has not yet ratified START II. The Clinton administration had sought Russian ratification prior to a summit so that official negotiations could begin on a START III agreement limiting the United States and Russia to 2,000 to 2,500 deployed strategic warheads each. However, on June 10, the Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, postponed consideration of START II until the fall.

Meanwhile, on July 23–24, Vice President Al Gore and Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko held an executive session of the U.S.-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation (also known as the Gore-Kiriyenko Commission). During their meeting in Moscow, Gore and Kiriyenko announced the completion of two agreements on nuclear security issues, involving the economic diversification of the Russian "nuclear cities" and the management of plutonium no longer required for defense purposes.