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Richard Nixon

March 18, 1994

* Like a phoenix rising from the ashes of a failed political career, Dick Nixon reappears on the world stage. President Boris Yeltsin publicly snubbed Nixon for "protocol indiscretions" for meeting with opposition political leaders before meeting with him. Yeltsin was livid in his refusal to meet with Nixon. He abruptly canceled Nixon's briefings with lower government officials and removed the complimentary bodyguard and limousine service.

Yeltsin's public reaction puzzled me, knowing the tremendous financial help needed from America, until I read an article in The Times, March 10. The last paragraph illuminates why I believe Yeltsin spoke of Nixon's misstep so angrily. It states, "On a visit to Russia in April, 1991, Nixon met Yeltsin against Gorbachev's wishes; Nixon later urged Washington to forge better ties with Gorbachev's rivals." Does Nixon's arrival and talks with opposition leaders now look like deja vu to Yeltsin?

Who is Nixon working for now that he's retired from "public" life? He says he traveled to Russia as a private citizen doing some fact-finding, not official business. Nixon said he talked to President Clinton before traveling to Russia. Is Nixon the "kingmaker" or just a messenger for those with "real" power in the world?

As I see things, Nixon isn't helping the situation and may jeopardize future relations between Russia and the United States. I don't believe Nixon is a "fact-finding" asset America needs at this time. It's time to say good night, Dick.

DENNIS E. HAMRICK

Placentia

* Looks like the Russians won't have Richard Nixon to kick around anymore.

RON SALMONS

Pacific Palisades

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