Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Give Russia Respect, Yeltsin Urges U.N. Leader Seeks Treaty to Ban Nuclear Material

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Give Russia Respect, Yeltsin Urges U.N. Leader Seeks Treaty to Ban Nuclear Material

Article excerpt

Russian President Boris Yeltsin told world leaders Monday that they must accept Russia as a "great power" and called for a treaty on ending the production of nuclear weapons material.

Yeltsin said he would welcome U.N. involvement in former Soviet states beset by civil strife, but warned that "the main peacekeeping burden in the territory of the former Soviet Union lies upon the Russian Federation."

The Russian leader's speech was part of the three-week U.N. general debate, the largest annual gathering of world leaders. About 180 diplomats will speak, including 47 heads of government.

Security was extremely tight, with police blocking off the street in front of the building and U.N. guards closing access to two floors.

Yeltsin's plan to limit the spread of nuclear weapons included signing a comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty by 1996, extending the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, regulating weapons sales, initiating a treaty on nuclear security and holding a conference on converting military factories to civilian use.

"There is an urgent need for all nuclear states to participate in the process of reduction and limitation of nuclear weapons," Yeltsin said.

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Madeleine Albright, called Yeltsin's proposals "creative and intriguing," but said the United States would have to study them.

"The fact that we have gone together on this path, and the fact that President Yeltsin is bringing a package here I think is very important," she said.

Yeltsin said the treaty on nuclear security and stability should be signed by the world's five major nuclear powers - the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France and China.

He also called for ending the production of nuclear materials and nuclear munitions.

Yeltsin urged nations to be more active in U.N. peacekeeping and said Russia was prepared to designate troops for a stand-by U.N. force. The United Nations has long requested the creation of such a rapid-deployment force that could respond to emergencies without the United Nations first having to ask for troop contributions, a process that has often taken months.

In his speech, Yeltsin emphasized that Russia "by all means remains a great power. …

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