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DATE=6/4/2000 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=RUSSIA - CLINTON (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-263133 BYLINE=EVE CONANT DATELINE=MOSCOW CONTENT= VOICED AT: INTRO: U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russian President Vladimir Putin are holding a day of talks in Moscow on issues ranging from arms control to the Russian economy and western criticism of the war in Chechnya. Moscow correspondent Eve Conant reports on how average Russians are viewing Mr. Clinton's visit and what they are expecting from their new President, Mr. Putin. TEXT: Sunday's summit is the first meeting between President Clinton and President Putin since the Russian leader was elected by an overwhelming majority in March. /// OPT/// Arms control is topping the agenda, but Mr. Clinton is also expected to express concern over human rights abuses in Chechnya, as well as question Mr. Putin's commitment to a free press. ///END OPT/// For Russians, this is the first chance to see their president interact with the U.S. President, and expectations are high. Mr. Putin is viewed as a poker- faced, no nonsense ex-KGB agent, not afraid to stand up to the West and defend Russia's interests. The summit also comes at a time when many Russians, like 25-year old Andres Kapinsh say they have lost faith in the United States as a country Russia can trust. ///Act Kapinsh in Russian in full and fade under/// He says, "it's alright for the United States to give us advice, but not to dictate the rules. No one can understand our internal problems." ///Begin Opt.///One of those internal problems expected to come up in Sunday's talks is Moscow's military offensive in Chechnya, which President Putin has masterminded.///End Opt./// Western officials have criticized Russia for its conduct of the Chechen war, specifically allegations of human rights abuses committed against Chechen civilians. But the war here is popular. One young Russian, Aslan, says he is suspicious of Mr. Clinton and thinks the United States benefits from the war in Chechnya. ///Act Aslan in Russian in full and fade under/// He says, "The war helps Mr. Clinton and the United States because it undermines Russia and makes it weaker. That is what they want." But he thinks newly elected President Putin will not bow down to western pressure the way that he says President Boris Yeltsin once did. ///Act Aslan in Russian in full and fade under/// He says, "Mr. Putin is much tougher than Mr. Yeltsin was. He is a K-G-B man to the depths of his soul and he knows how to play the game." Other Russians on the streets of Moscow, however, say they worry that Russia has lost its superpower status and therefore has little leverage in talks with the United States. ///Act Fyodorov in Russian in full and fade under/// 50 year old teacher Leonid Fyodorov says "when Russia was once strong, when we had a strong army and economy, then we could also slam the door on people and act from a position of power." He says, "but after all these experiments we've carried out we've lost our confidence." ///REST IS OPT/// 54-year old Antonina Pronina agrees. ///Act Pronina in Russian in full and fade under/// She says, "Russians have been humiliated by their own leaders. We still have it in our subconscious that we are a great power, but in reality we are destroyed. We might struggle with the United States a little, but slowly we will yield power to them because we are weak." President Clinton will have a chance to hear for himself what Russians think of his visit later on Sunday when he will take questions on a call-in Russian radio program. Russian news agencies say the questions have already been flooding in. (Signed) 04-Jun-2000 06:14 AM EDT (04-Jun-2000 1014 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .