European Stars And Stripes Newspaper Archives Dec 23 1999, Page 15

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European Stars and Stripes (Newspaper) - December 23, 1999, Darmstadt, HesseThursday december 23, 1999 stars and stripes Page 15 . Blocks Loans to russian Oil firm by David Briscoe the associated press Washington the Clinton administration is blocking $500 million in Loans to an Oil company partially owned by the russian government. Proceeds would have gone directly to american Compa Nies. With . Officials expressing concern about dealings of Russia s Tyumen Oil co. And about maintaining the Rule of Law in Russia Secretary of state Madeleine Albright invoked a provision late tuesday that compelled the . Export import Bank to temporarily reject guarantees for the Loans. The russian fuel and Energy ministry declined to comment wednesday on the move. Administration officials denied her decision was related to Strong . Objections to russian military actions in Chechnya although it came amid Calls for a halt to such Loans Over Chechnya from members of Congress and demo cratic presidential hopeful Bill Bradley. He welcomes the state department decision Bradley spokesman Eric Hauser said noting that for several weeks the candidate has been saying it is inappropriate to give assistance to Russia while it is engaged in the brutal War in chech rep. Carolyn Maloney d-n.y., had called for the Bank to Stop the Loans to Tyumen because of reports it forced a company with partial american owner ship into bankruptcy to obtain its Oil Fields. She also praised tuesday s decision saying it will allow scrutiny of the re port of manipulation of bankruptcy Law involving this Albright in an unusual meeting with Bank chairman James Harmon at first tried to persuade the Bank an Independent Federal Agency to act on its own tuesday. Later she sent a letter to the Bank for Mally invoking a Law that allows the administration to intervene in its decisions. Bank officials said the loan guarantees would not be approved until the state department withdraws its objections. Loan proceeds to be extended by Pri vate Banks with the exit Bank Guaran tees would have gone to Halliburton co. Of Dallas and 24 other . Companies in payment for .-made Oil and Gas equip ment and services to be purchased by the russians. Bank officials insist they Are required to consider transactions based Only on commercial reasons and creditworthiness and their positive Impact in creating or sustaining . Reno feds ignored other spy leads by Matt Kelley the associated press Washington As Early As 1997, Federal prosecutors feared the Fri had focused too narrowly on . Nuclear weapons scientist Wen to Lee and ignored other leads in their investigation of alleged chinese spying attorney Gener Al Janet Reno disclosed to Congress. The Fri probe focused on Lee and his wife Sylvia when there were others at the los Alamos n.m., weapons lab where Lee worked who May have had a better motive to help China Reno told a closed door meeting of the Senate Judi Ciary committee in june. A transcript of her testimony was released tuesday. Lee a Taiwan born . Citizen had been investigated More than a decade earlier for his links to taiwanese officials Reno said. That made him even More of an unlikely suspect for spying for China which considers Taiwan a breakaway province Reno said. Because of those concerns Justice department lawyers rejected an Fri re quest to seek court approval to Bug Lee s Home and office Reno said. Documents previously described to the associated press by government and Law enforcement officials showed that doubts about the evidence against Lee surfaced More than a year ago and were expressed to Fri director Louis Freeh. The newly disclosed testimony shows Reno also was aware of problems in the Case and that she discussed them with Congress this summer. At the time of the 1997 bugging re quest Lee and his wife who was a former data analyst at los Alamos were suspects in the alleged theft by China of information about the w-88, the smallest and most sophisticated warhead in the . Nuclear Arsenal. The Fri focused on the 1/ees and did not follow up on other scientists at los Alamos who knew the same secrets and had travelled to China including four oth ers of chinese ancestry Reno told the Senate panel on june 8. The number of other potential suspects at los Alamos was among Many de tails blacked out from the report re leased tuesday. Report Russia not budging on missile treaty the associated press Moscow visiting . Deputy Secretary of state Strobe Talbott on wednesday again tried to persuade Russia to let it Amend the anti ballistic missile treaty but officials refused to Budge a news report said. The United states wants to Amend the 1972 treaty so it can build missile defences to defend from possible missile attacks by rogue states such As Iran or North Korea. Washington has tried to persuade Russia that its planned anti missile system would t be Able to counter the kind of massive nuclear attack Russia is capable of launching. But Russia has said that a . Retreat from the treaty would upset the strategic balance and could trigger a new arms race. Talbott s meeting wednesday with russian Deputy foreign minister Georgy Mamedov brought no breakthroughs on the Issue the inter fax news Agency reported citing russian sources who attended the talks. Talbott came to Moscow for consultations on a wide Range of topics including the treaty and the Start ii arms reduction treaty. Prime minister Vladimir Putin who was to meet with Talbott later wednesday said the sooner Start ii ratification takes place the better inter fax reported. Putin suggested tuesday that the outgoing Duma or lower House of parliament would have time to ratify Start ii before its term ends. But Duma speaker Gennady Seleznyov Dis missed the possibility. Talbott also planned to discuss Russia s Mili tary offensive in breakaway Chechnya and the results of the russian parliamentary election. In sunday s vote centrist political movements made their strongest showing in the Post soviet Era and appear set to end the communist Domi nation of the Duma. Hot offer email Home Page available to All . Passport holders Telephone bookings and reservations by mail. Visa Mastercard and american express Are now accepted Over the phone. Happy holidays millennium fire Sale Atlanta Baltimore Boston Buffalo Charlotte Chicago Cincinnati Cleveland round trip one Way 349 189 329 329 329 349 349 349 349 169 169 169 189 189 189 189 Continental airlines important facts to know t seats limited. 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