Russia and Latvia sign pullout pact

MOSCOW - President Boris Yeltsin signed a landmark agreement with Latvia yesterday pledging to withdraw former Soviet troops from the republic by 31 August, writes Helen Womack. While about 10,000 Russians will leave, a few will remain to man the Skrunda radar station for four years.

President Yeltsin apologised for the Soviet Union's annexation of the Baltic states in 1940, commenting: 'I want to say officially that we condemn these acts against the autonomy of the republic of Latvia and its people.' President Guntis Ulmanis of Latvia said Mr Yeltsin's remarks would 'help many people in Latvia overcome the psychological and practical disagreements' between the nations.

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