Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Russian friends

Russia's President, Boris Yeltsin, signed a friendship treaty with the Czech Republic exactly 25 years after his predecessors forced kidnapped Czechoslovak leaders to accept the Soviet-led invasion by the Warsaw Pact, AP reports from Prague.

Mr Yeltsin and his Czech counterpart, Vaclav Havel, signed the pact during Mr Yeltsin's brief visit to Prague en route from Poland. The treaty does not include a direct apology by Mr Yeltsin for the invasion but condemns 'unacceptable force' by the Soviet regime, which crushed the 1968 reforms.