"They are going through a very painful time right now," Mr Cohen said, referring to cuts to the Russian forces under stringent budget measures. "It is important to help in any way we can in a positive, constructive fashion." Mr Yeltsin told the Swedish parliament that Russia would cut its land and naval forces by 40 per cent beginning in 1999, "especially in north-western Russia." The foreign minister, Yevgeny Primakov, hastened to clarify that the 40-per-cent cut referred only to the north-western region.
- Reuters, Brussels