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Boris Yeltsin

March 17, 1993

It's surprising that former President Richard Nixon would do the very undiplomatic thing to take sides in the internal politics of another country, i.e. favoring Boris Yeltsin against his Russian opposition (March 10). Can you imagine what Nixon would have said if the Soviets had made an endorsement for Hubert Humphrey or George McGovern?

Beyond the protocol involved, Nixon doesn't seem to be supporting the interests of the average American or average Russian. Under Yeltsin, the average Russian has seen his savings decimated by government-caused hyperinflation, his income cut by about 20%, and his economy paralyzed by infighting.

For the average American, Nixon wants to send over billions more U.S. tax dollars in the form of grants and loans to the same Russian bosses who have squandered several billion before. Instead, Nixon should be urging the U.S. Treasury to be collecting the billions of dollars of debts from the Russians going back to World Wars I and II, and not extending any more credit until the currently defaulting federal-guaranteed agricultural loans are fully paid up with interest by the Russians.

Now those would be real reforms worth backing in Russia!

CARL OLSON

Northridge

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