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Disarmament Diplomacy

Issue No. 39, July - August 1999

US-Russia Meetings

Albright-Ivanov Press Conference, 26 July

'Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright Press Conference with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, Mandarin Hotel, Singapore, 26 July 1999,' US State Department Transcript, 26 July

Foreign Minister Ivanov

"Ladies and Gentlemen, we have just signed a memorandum on the organization of the direct secure communications line between the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia and the Secretary of State of the United States. The recent developments in the world demonstrate the need for having a continuously operating and reliable communication. Due to a number of known circumstances, the relations between the United States and Russia cannot but influence the general state of affairs in the entire world, be it security stability in the world at large and also including in the Asia and Pacific region. ... In the recent years, a considerable wealth of experience in the area of cooperation and new mechanisms and arrangements for cooperation have been developed. Russia is a proponent of partnership relationship with the United States. Of course, the crisis in the Balkans couldn't have but negatively influenced these relations, and that is why we should now double or even triple our efforts now that we have turned the corner on these events. And we should continue with further development of our cooperative relationships. ..."

Secretary of State Albright

"… I am very pleased to see my friend the Foreign Minister once again at a time of renewed momentum in the relationship between our two countries. This is reflected in Prime Minister Stepashin's visits to Washington tomorrow when he and Vice-President Gore will chair a meeting of the US-Russian Joint Commission. The commission has been very valuable in recent years not only in addressing specific bilateral issues but also in helping our relationship move ahead following difficult times. ... US and Russian forces are now serving side by side in Kosovo. We are united in our desire to implement the peace and create a future in which the rights of all Kosovars are protected. But our agenda extends far beyond the Balkans. The Foreign Minister and I will be discussing other security issues in Europe and the Asia Pacific - strategic arms reduction and the ABM treaty, prospects for a re-energized peace processes of the Middle East , and non-proliferation. We will also be pursuing our dialogue on economic issues including Russia's reform program and the IMF.

The US-Russia relationship remains as significant a bilateral relationship as any in the world. The cooperative agreement achieved in Helsinki shows our continued ability to work together on matters vital to us both. The Memorandum of Understanding the Foreign Minister and I have just signed establishing a secure communications link between our two offices is another clear example of our continued cooperation. ..."

Questions-and-Answers

"Question: 'Mr. Foreign Minister, every time that Russian Duma seems like on the verge of taking up the START II Treaty something intervenes and it gets postponed again. Can you tell us what your government might do this time to try to persuade the Duma to bring it up when they reconvene in September? And Madam Secretary, will the administration continue to delay sending to the Senate the modifications to the ABM treaty while waiting for the Duma to pass START II?'

Ivanov: 'Both the President of Russia and the Russian government are convinced that ratification of the START II treaty is in the interests of Russia. And after the Duma convenes itself in late September, we intend to renew our efforts with the view to the ratification of the START II treaty. At the same time, we intend to initiate consultations with the United States with a view to defining the main parameters for that future treaty, START III.'

Albright: 'Well, there clearly is a lot of activity going on in the arms control area and as the Foreign Minister said they are looking forward to a ratification of the START II. As our Presidents said at Cologne, the ABM and START III discussions will be going at parallel this summer. There are going to be a number of different meetings, and we think that it is important to proceed with process rather than separating it all out.'"

US-Russia Joint Commission, 27 July

Executive Session of the US-Russia Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation, Washington, 27 July 1999

Joint Statement

'Joint Statement of the co-chairmen of the US-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation,' The White House, Office of the Vice President, 27 July 1999

"US Vice President Al Gore and Chairman of the Government of the Russian Federation Sergey Stepashin held an executive session of the US-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation in Washington today. The co-chairmen commended the work already accomplished since the Commission's creation in 1993 and reaffirmed its importance for ensuring the continued vitality of the US-Russian relationship and encouraging practical cooperation of benefit to both countries.

Building on the results of the meeting between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin in June 1999 in Cologne, the Vice President and the Chairman of the Government discussed how to advance our relations and mutual interests, deepen US-Russian cooperation, and address common problems. They affirmed that it is in the interest of both the United States and Russia to reduce our nuclear arsenals, cooperate on international peace and security, enhance non-proliferation regimes, and promote trade, economic, and technological cooperation and open and competitive markets. ...

The co-chairmen discussed the key issues of international security and arms control. They highlighted the Cologne commitments made by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin to begin discussions on START III and the ABM Treaty later this summer while at the same time pursuing the ratification of START II. The Vice President and Chairman of the Government reviewed the preparations for these discussions and agreed that they will start in Moscow in August 1999. They also agreed to accelerate work on implementing the agreement reached by Presidents Clinton and Yeltsin in September 1998 on exchange of information on missile launches and early warning.

The Vice President and Chairman of the Government reaffirmed the vital importance of joint additional efforts to prevent the transfer of sensitive materials and technology. They commended the achieved level of US-Russian cooperation in the area of non-proliferation and export control and noted recent progress by the Russian government to strengthen the policy, legal, and institutional foundations of Russia's export control system. In this regard, the co-chairmen expressed their commitment to the implementation of the work plans set forth to strengthen export controls and prevent proliferation activities and pledged to continue working closely together to achieve this shared goal. ..."

White House Press Release

'Vice President Gore and Prime Minister Stepashin resume work of US-Russia binational Commission,' The White House, Office of the Vice President, 27 July 1999

"Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Sergey Stepashin - co-chairs of the US-Russian Joint Commission on Economic and Technological Cooperation - put US-Russian relations back on track today with detailed discussions on economic and security issues. They also met with President Clinton, and announced this afternoon that the two countries would begin discussions on START III and the ABM Treaty next month in Moscow. Today's announcement follows an agreement reached by President Clinton and President Yeltsin at the G-8 Summit in Cologne that discussion would begin this summer on START III and ABM.

'The United States and Russia have long understood that reducing nuclear arsenals is in our mutual interest,' Vice President Gore said. 'That is why we will continue to press for ratification of START II and begin discussions next month toward START III.'

'In addition, we both understand that there are ballistic missile threats we both face that do not come from each other, but from other nations. That is why it is important in parallel with achieving our arms control objectives to discuss implications for the ABM Treaty should the United States decide to deploy a National Missile Defense.

The Vice President and Prime Minister also discussed Russia's economic reform agenda, non-proliferation, and commercial space cooperation, and the Vice President expressed his deep concern over recent acts of anti-Semitism in Russia.

The Vice President and Prime Minister also set priorities for the future work of the Commission, including efforts to enhance Y2K cooperation, to promote investment and economic growth in Russia, to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement and the rule of law, and to tighten Russian export controls to halt nuclear and missile proliferation to rogue States. ..."

© 1999 The Acronym Institute.

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