Albright wants the Russians to accept a renegotiation of existing treaties to allow Washington to build an anti-missile defense system; to limit their ties with Iran; and to lean on the Serbs over the Kosovo issue. "There may be an undercurrent of resentment," says Meier, "but their economic situation will compel the Russians to give up on some issues." Of course if they play ball politically and don't get the financial payoff, the post-Yeltsin U.S.-Russia relationship could turn pretty frosty.
MOSCOW: Good thing the Russians see her as Ms. Moneybags: Madeleine Albright got a rough ride from Moscow mayor and presidential candidate Yuri Luzkhov Monday, but found Russia's government pliable by comparison. "She's asking for Moscow to accept unpalatable positions on issues ranging from missile treaties to Kosovo, but the Russians have their backs to the wall," says TIME Moscow correspondent Andrew Meier. "The IMF money on which their budget depends has been frozen, which makes it essential to play along with U.S. requests."