President Bush says he'll keep a watchful eye on how well the Soviet Union carries out a pledge to withdraw troops from the troubled Baltic republics.

Administration officials told The Associated Press the Soviets did not promise to remove all outside military from Latvia and Lithuania, where 19 people were killed this month in clashes, although some units have been detected moving out.Some of the Interior Ministry's "black beret" forces, which played a key role against the independence drive in the two republics, are from the Baltics and may remain there, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

The message from Moscow was delivered to Bush and Secretary of State James A. Baker III by Soviet Foreign Minister Alexander A. Bessmertnykh in an apparent effort to reverse the slide in U.S.-Soviet relations.

The United States has never recognized the incorporation of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania into the Soviet Union.