President Clinton leaves just after Memorial Day for Portugal, Germany, Russia, and Ukraine. The centerpiece of the journey is Moscow, the venue of the first (and possibly the only) formal summit meeting between President Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin. In Lisbon, President Clinton will attend the U.S.-European Union Summit.
These and other Clinton meetings will take place against the backdrop of multiple questions involving some of the most critical issues at the heart of post-Cold War international relations and American foreign policy, including:
- What can be done to harmonize U.S.-European positions on European defense, trade, Kosovo, and missile defense?
- What do we know about Vladimir Putin? What can we expect?
- How much should the brutal conflict in Chechnya affect U.S. relations with Russia?
- What is the state of the Russian economy? What should the West do to promote growth?
- Is a U.S.-Russian deal on missile defense and nuclear weapons possible? Or desirable?
- How should the United States relate to Ukraine and other countries around Russia that were once part of the USSR?