WASHINGTON — Here are the chief issues on the agenda for the first summit meeting beginning today between President Bush and Russian President Boris N. Yeltsin.
- ARMS CONTROL--Bush and Yeltsin are working toward an agreement that would cut the two nations' nuclear arsenals far below the levels set in the still-unratified START treaty. The plan is to cut warhead limits from 9,000 to about 4,700 on each side, but there are differences on which weapons to include.
U.S. position: Russia must destroy all 610 land-based multiple-warhead missiles, the most formidable part of its nuclear force.
Russian position: Elimination would leave the Russian arsenal at a disadvantage. Some must survive or the Unites States must commit to deep cuts in multiple-warhead missiles on its submarines, a core part of the U.S. force.
- AID--The centerpiece of international assistance for Russia is a $24-billion program sponsored by the International Monetary Fund. Bush and Yeltsin both hope the visit will help pressure Congress to approve the U.S. share.
U.S. position: The success of the program depends on reforming the Russian economy. Bush will seek more assurances that the reform process will continue.
Russian position: Despite retreats on some fronts, the commitment to a free-market economy is solid.
- CHARTER--The United States, under prodding from Moscow, and Russia will sign a "charter" outlining key principles of U.S.-Russian relations, pledging them to "cooperation and partnership."
- SPACE--The two nations are contemplating a joint space mission, symbolizing the end of the Cold War. A U.S. space shuttle would dock in space with Russia's orbiting Mir space station. Unresolved issues include financing and technology cooperation.