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VANCOUVER SUMMIT: THE PRICE OF REFORM : Summit Notebook

April 05, 1993|Times staff and wire reports

At their dinner Saturday, Yeltsin said that he and Clinton had common ground in that they both came from peasant families. *The tense political situation back in Russia cast an unhappy shadow at the dinner. Yeltsin began to frown as Clinton described an initiative to be headed by the vice president. As Clinton continued, Yeltsin's face grew darker and he began to grumble. Finally, a member of the U.S. party realized Yeltsin thought Clinton was referring to Russian Vice President Alexander V. Rutskoi, who has sided with the opposition. Yeltsin brightened when told the initiative was to be led by Vice President Al Gore. *If Clinton needed any reminder that the first part of the summit was taking place in a college setting, he got it when he arrived at the University of British Columbia for the initial round of talks. The first sign that greeted him as his motorcade entered the campus expressed a perennial college sentiment: "Bill--We need beer aid." *Abortion protesters, some with banners, were among those lining the street as Clinton went to First Baptist Church in downtown Vancouver to celebrate Palm Sunday. *Clinton tried to repair relations with an Army general who had been slighted at the White House, making him his jogging partner Sunday. The episode involving Lt. Gen. Barry McCaffrey, the most decorated man in the U.S. armed services, had angered military families. *VOICES Quotes on the Vancouver summit: "The Boris Yeltsin who came to Vancouver to meet with Bill Clinton in these last 24 hours did not act or talk like somebody who sees himself on the edge of retirement. He was full of fight." --Strobe Talbott, special envoy for aid to former Soviet states *"We shall eat up this aid within half a year. What will come next? We must settle our problems ourselves." --Yekaterina Chikina, Moscow day care worker *"Our eggs are really in the basket of democracy and free-market reform, and it happens at the moment Yeltsin is, by far, the best exponent of that." --Secretary of State, Warren Christopher *"This is the maximum the Clinton Administration can do to aid Russian reform with available funds." --U.S. official who briefed, reporters on the package *"What you have to see is the Central Bank stop the enormous expansion of credit and the printing of currency that has led to an inflation rate of 25% to as much as 30% and that borders on hyper-inflation. Unless that gets under control, you just can't get this country really moving again in a stable way." --U.S. Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen *"There is no question that Boris Yeltsin is in command, that he's on top of his game." --George Stephanopoulos, White House communications director

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