US Shouldn't Interfere in Russia's Elections

The counsel of the Opinion page article ``US Can Help Reformers in Russia's Elections,'' Nov. 8, is well-intended, but misguided nonetheless.

Identifying clearly the pro-democratic political parties in the election for a new legislature, scheduled for December 1993, is no insurmountable task. However, perceived intervention in the internal affairs of Russian domestic politics should be avoided.

Ambivalent factions may resent political intrusion by Washington into Russian elections. Accordingly, such action might cause individuals or coalitions in sympathy with democratic reform to support nationalist but less democratic interests.

If Washington is to be at all helpful, it could urge President Boris Yeltsin to grant to all contenders scrupulously equal access to national radio and television.

It will not allay concerns if the United States accepts Russian Foreign Minister Andrei Kozyrev's invitation to monitor the fairness of the impending elections.

Finally, the Clinton administration should refrain from interloping in the elections by denying requests by any of the participants for assistance in matters such as training, communications equipment, funding, or other political techniques.

If there is a tide to be turned in favor of a democratic legislature, it should obtain through the exclusive efforts of the reformist parties. US foreign policy entry should be averted. Elliott A. Cohen, New York

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