08/27/1998 11:05:24 Minister says Russia still great power amid crisis
MOSCOW, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Russia's bonds may be worth less
than those of Cuba, Cameroon and Vietnam, but Foreign Minister
Yevgeny Primakov on Thursday said the nuclear-equipped nation
was still a great power.
"As I see it, especially now, when we suffer from such
significant difficulties in the economy, there should be an
active international and foreign policy to reinforce our
position as a great power," he told reporters.
He spoke after meeting Bulgarian Foreign Minister Nadezhda
Mikhailova in Moscow.
Russia defaulted on some of its international debt last week
and its rouble has fallen dramatically in recent days,
threatening a meltdown of its financial system. Desperate
citizens have crowded banks trying to get their money.
The former spymaster Primakov said he had not yet received a
formal invitation to join the new government of acting Prime
Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin, but that he would continue to
serve if asked.
Most analysts do not expect that Russia's Foreign Ministry
will be affected by the latest government shakeup, which began
on Sunday when President Boris Yeltsin sacked Prime Minister
Sergei Kiriyenko and replaced him with Chernomyrdin.
Bulgarian President Petr Stoyanov arrived in Moscow on
Thursday for meetings on Friday with Yeltsin. Yeltsin is to hold
a summit with U.S. President Bill Clinton on September 1-3.