• ACI Russia

08/25/1998 14:56:31 Clinton, Yeltsin confer by telephone

EDGARTOWN, Mass., Aug 25 (Reuters) - U.S. President Bill

Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin spoke by telephone

on Tuesday, the first conversation between the two leaders

since Yeltsin fired his government on Sunday, a White House

official said.

Details of the conversation were not immediately available,

the official told Reuters.

Details were expected to be provided during a briefing to

reporters covering the president on vacation at Martha's

Vineyard, the official said. The briefing was to begin at about

11:00 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).

Yeltsin on Sunday fired his entire government including

Prime Minister Sergei Kiriyenko, who was appointed just five

months earlier in an attempt to pick up the pace of economic

reform. Viktor Chernomyrdin, who was fired in March, was

designated Kiriyenko's successor.

Vice President Al Gore spoke with both Kiriyenko and

Chernomyrdin on Sunday, stressing that Russia needed to take

urgent steps to reform its economy.

The White House has said earlier a Moscow summit between

Yeltsin and Clinton next week would go ahead as planned.

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