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US DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DAILY PRESS BRIEFING
MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1993

 BRIEFERS:  Christine Shelly
     Strobe Talbott
     Leon Fuerth

Subject                                                         Page

RUSSIA/NIS
Briefing by Leon Fuerth and Strobe Talbott ......................1-17
Overview of Agreements/Cooperation with US/
  US Assistance 
..................................................................2-3
Election Results/Impact on Reform/Pace ...................3-6,8,14-15
Status of US/Other Aid 
...............................................................7,9-11
Vote by Military 
..................................................................8-9
Yeltsin View 
................................................................13-14
Talks with US/Ukraine to Deactivate ICBMs ..........................7
Vice President Gore's Meeting with Yeltsin ...............11-12,15-16
Environmental/Nuclear Activities/Dumping ..........................13
Vice President Gore's Q&A in St. Petersburg ....................15-16

UKRAINE
Talks with US/Russia to Deactivate ICBMs .........................7-8
Talks on Tactical Missiles with Russia .............................8

KAZAKHSTAN
Agreement re: NPT/Dismantling Missiles ...........................7-8

NORTH KOREA
Meeting with US Today in New York ...............................17-18

HAITI
Four Friends Meeting 
.................................................................18-20
US Meeting with Aristide ........................................18-20
Conference on National Reconciliation/Prospects .................20-21

(###)



                                         DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                                        DAILY PRESS BRIEFING

                        MONDAY, DECEMBER 20, 1993, 12:38 P.M.
                        (ON THE RECORD UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED)

(This briefing includes the regular daily briefing as well as a special 
briefing on Russia and the Newly Independent States.)


          MS. SHELLY:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  We will 
begin today's briefing with a special briefing on Russia and the Newly 
Independent States.

          You will have two briefers:  Leon Fuerth, Assistant to the 
Vice President for National Security Affairs will make some opening 
remarks, and they will be related specifically to the Vice President's 
recent trip to the region.  And Ambassador Strobe Talbott, Special 
Advisor to the Secretary on the Newly Independent States, will also be 
available to answer any questions that you might have related to the 
recent elections, our relationship with Russia and the Newly Independent 
States.

          Mr. Fuerth.

          MR. FUERTH:  Thanks very much.

          The Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission was established by agreement 
between President Clinton and President Yeltsin at the Vancouver Summit.  
Its objective was to make sure that programs that they had agreed to 
would be brought into existence in the shortest possible period of time 
and to avoid the tendency for such programs to become bogged down in the 
bureaucratic complications on either side.

          We had a first meting of the Commission in September here in 
Washington, which we felt was extremely successful.  This meeting, 
however, was a realization of things that were only just beginning to be 
set in motion at that time.  We think that the record of accomplishment 
is of great satisfaction to both sides.  I can summarize in brief terms 
before actually opening this meeting.

          In trade and investment, we have signed, delivered the 
instruments of ratification for a Double Taxation Treaty -- which is 
perhaps in the nuts-and-bolts range, but it is extremely important for 
the future development of the conduct of business on both sides.

          There were OPIC agreements signed for $l35 million, which will 
provide the financial muscle for significant U.S. investments in the 
Russian economy.

          We have a Conformity of Standards Agreement, which will help 
align the standards of both countries and will facilitate trade in both 
directions.

          In space, one of the highlights of this trip was to move to 
the point of realization the Joint Agreement on Cooperation in Space.  

          We are now beyond the intensive technical and financial 
studies that we have had earlier.  We are at the point of moving the 
cooperation on the three phases leading to a full-up space station into 
concrete reality, and that's a matter of great satisfaction on both 
sides.

          In energy, nuclear safety and the environment, we have a 
Statement of Principle for Nuclear Safety Cooperation.  We have a 
Nuclear Liability Agreement, which was essential if U.S. corporations 
were to be able to provide assistance for approving the safety of 
Russian nuclear reactors.  We have a Commodity Import Program, worth a 
$l25 million, which will allow the United States to expose the Russians 
to a wide variety of U.S. gas technology and equipment, which will have 
a double effect of improving their productivity and of diminishing the 
impact of gas production on the environment. That's a global benefit, 
not just a U.S.-Russian benefit.

          We have announced the formation of an Oil and Gas Technology 
Center, to be located in Tyumen City, in one of the core areas of 
Russian energy production.  

          And we have a Joint statement on Environmental Cooperation 
involving l5 technical assistance projects that will begin immediately.

          In defense conversions, we have moved forward in a wide 
variety of areas -- particularly, I'm hopeful, we are moving forward in 
areas that will lead to the conversion of some former Soviet defense 
industries in ways that will promote the establishment of a productive 
system for manufacturing housing, which would be of extreme importance 
in Russia from a variety of points of view.

          In science and technology, we have signed an S&T Umbrella 
Agreement, which for the first time provides a framework cooperation in 
all fields of science and technology.  And, in particular, there is a 
major accomplishment in the form of a framework to protect intellectual 
property rights resulting from cooperation in research and development 
programs.

          That's a very rapid overview of what was done.  The scope is 
extremely extensive.  I think both sides were very pleased at the way in 
which this was done and at the dimensions of what has been set in front 
of us.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  I have nothing by way of a prepared 
opening statement.  Leon and I would be happy to take questions about 
the Commission meeting last week and anything else that's on your minds.

          Q    Strobe, since this is the first chance we've have to talk 
with you since the elections, would you talk a little about what you 
expect to be the effect of the elections on the program of reform in the 
Soviet Union?  Do you expect it to have an effect; do you expect those 
reforms to slow down?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Well, there is no question that the 
people of Russia -- those who voted a week ago Sunday -- were sending a 
message to their leadership.  And their message was that reform -- as it 
has been carried out to date -- has been accompanied by a lot of 
disruption, a lot of disorder and a lot of hardship for the average 
Russian citizen; and they clearly want the new parliament working with 
the Yeltsin government to ameliorate a lot of those hardships in the two 
and a half years between now and when the Russian people will go to the 
polls again to elect a second parliament, and also of course to elect a 
president.

          So the message is they want to make sure that the government 
understands, and that those in the international community who are 
supporting reform understand, that there is going to have to be a 
balance between the economic imperatives and also the political 
imperatives of keeping Russia on the path towards democratization and 
economic reform.

          And we certainly are listening to that message.  I think that 
the leaders of the other G-7 countries, who have of course been working 
very closely throughout the past year, got that message, too.  

          When the Vice President was on his way home, he stopped in 
Germany for -- what was it, two hours or so? -- of consultations with 
Chancellor Kohl.  They spent a lot of time on this subject and were 
totally in agreement that the G-7 multilaterally, the Federal Republic 
of Germany and the United States bilaterally, have got to make sure that 
our Reform Support Program -- like Russian reform itself -- takes 
account of social needs.

          Q    The conventional wisdom in the United States has been 
that reform ought to proceed rapidly, as rapidly as possible.  When you 
say we are "listening to that message" from the election, are you 
signaling that the United States would now accept some slowing down of 
the reforms?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  I understand the question, but I think it 
might be a mistake to cast it in terms of "fast" and "slow."  I think 
that the last of the Soviet governments tried slow reform and found that 
all it really accomplished was to accelerate the breakup of the USSR 
itself.

         So rather than thinking of it in terms of slowing reform down, 
I would say it's more a matter of broadening the concept of reform -- 
both in what they do in Russia and what we do to try to help it.  That 
is, rather than focusing just on the economic indicators -- which are 
important, and which will remain important -- economic indicators such 
as inflation rates, levels of credit admissions to large state 
enterprises and that kind of thing -- they and we also have to factor in 
to our policies the social factors, which you might call the "misery 
index":  unemployment, the people's sense of being afraid on the 
streets, being afraid of the future, that kind of thing.

          In short, what we had a week ago Sunday was a classic protest 
vote.  But the most important thing here is that a mechanism, a process, 
has been established whereby the Russian people are able to register 
their own wishes and their own fears and anxieties; and the government 
has to take account of that.

          Q    It sounds Strobe, the inference -- 

          Q    It sounds as though what you are saying is that it is 
time for the U.S. Government to step back from the drawing board and to 
reassess how we provide aid.  

          For the last few days, from this podium, various spokesmen 
have said we are not reassessing the way the United States approaches 
Russia.  So you are telling us now that we are reassessing and reviewing 
how we approach them and how we deliver aid.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  No, I wouldn't put it that way, John.  I 
would say that we've been at the drawing board all along and we're going 
to lean even closer to the the drawing board.

          We have been aware from the very beginning of this process -- 
going back to the outset of the Administration -- that economics has to 
be reconciled with society, social considerations and politics.  We knew 
that there were going to be trade-offs and we knew that we were going to 
have to find, and our partners in Russia were going to have to find, a 
way  of reconciling the need for fiscal and monetary discipline with a 
need for social responsiveness on the part of the government.

          In fact, precisely that attempt has been built into a number 
of the programs that we initiated in l993.  Let me give you one example 
in particular.

          A number of you, I know, were in Tokyo.  You will remember the 
Special Privatization and Restructuring Program, which was a new 
facility set up under the G-7 and the international financial 
institutions to try to help the reformers cushion the social and 
political costs of breaking up and privatizing large, very inefficient, 
state enterprises where those state enterprises dominated the social 
services of a community.

          So we're going to be thinking about ways of deepening and 
expanding that kind of activity on the part of the international 
community.

          Q    Strobe, the inference here is that everybody goes along 
with the approach.  It's just there's a protest -- that it needs some 
mechanical adjustment.

          How could you say that?  I mean can't you leave any room for 
the possibility that maybe there's a strong opposition to reform, that 
there's a preference for it?  

          This is -- I mean I hate the parallel and hope it isn't true.  
This is sort of like saying in Germany that everybody realized inflation 
in the twenties was a hurtful thing.  You know, there were people that 
wanted to elect a Fascist government.  Now, I don't know at what point, 
you know, one's philosophy is influenced by what's happening in his 
home.  But it's rather a benign description you give, a rather -- you 
know, tinker with the mechanism.  I'm not making a small thing, but you 
know just the mechanism and everybody's kind of reform-minded.  How do 
you know that they're not Fascist-minded or Communist-minded?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Well, a couple of things here.  

          Let's be awfully careful about historical parallels -- 
particularly those that might, if you were to follow them through to 
their logical extension, lead us to give up on Russian reform.  We're 
not about to give up on Russian reform, and we see no evidence that the 
Russian people have.  

          I think that it would be a big mistake to interpret the 
Russian election results as a victory for Fascism.  I think you've got 
to make a distinction between Mr. Zhirinovsky and a great many of the 
people who voted for him.

          Of course, Barry, we have seen, since even before the end of 
the Soviet Union, that opposition to reform was very strong, indeed.  We 
have seen its face, as it were, several times.  Remember that this has 
been generally a peaceful process that has gone on within Russia and has 
been brought about by the Russian people themselves.  They were not 
defeated in a war.  You never had anything comparable, say, to the 
denazification that occurred in Germany after World War II.  So there's 
still a lot of people that are part of that political process who are 
dead set against it.  

          We saw the face of the opposition to reform during the coup in 
August l99l; we saw it again during the events of early October this 
year.  And I think we see one face of the opposition to reform in Mr. 
Zhirinovsky and the kinds of things that he is saying.  

          And I think that the lesson for us there is not to declare a 
new Cold War on Mr. Zhirinovsky -- who is, by the way, a very, very long 
way from being the leader of that country.  He is the leader of a 
faction, a minority faction in the new parliament.  The lesson is that 
we should see all the more clearly the national interest stakes that we 
have in supporting precisely the forces of reform who are also going to 
be quite potent in the new parliament, and who are certainly potent in 
the Yeltsin government.

          Q    But, Strobe, we've been listening to briefings from 
people in past Administrations about how it's necessary to balance 
reform.  We listened to the onetime Soviet Foreign Minister plead with 
the United States for helping cushioning the blows of reform.  We've 
talked about the differences between shock therapy and something else, 
and you've said from this platform several times that  "We're going to 
do these things."  I remember hearing it at Vancouver.

          Can you tell me specifically -- specifically -- what is new 
about what the United States and the West are going to do in a hurry to 
help the Russians moderate -- if that's a good word for it -- the shock 
therapy that seems to be in such bad odor?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  So that it results in less shock and more 
therapy for the Russian people.  That, in a nutshell, is what we are 
going to try to help them accomplish and what, I'm sure -- in fact, we 
heard from the Russian leadership while we were in Moscow -- that that's 
what they intend to do.

          The short answer is:  No, I cannot give you the specifics.

          Leon and I have been back in this country only for a day and a 
half.  An important ingredient in our thinking, as we prepare for the 
trip that President Clinton is going to be making to Moscow in January, 
is what Vice President Gore heard from Prime Minister Chernomyrdin and 
others with whom he met there.  

          I can tell you that intensive deliberations are already under 
way -- Leon and I have been part of them even this morning -- on 
refining, focusing, and intensifying our reform support efforts in a way 
that will take account of what we're talking about here and what the 
Russian people clearly signaled last Sunday.

           Q    Strobe, can I ask you to switch for a moment to the 
question of nuclear weapons?  Ukraine said today that it's deactivating 
-- if I've got this right -- some, but not all, of its 24s.  Is that a 
result of your conversations?  Is there a way by which we will be able 
to verify whatever they are doing?  And whether it's linked or not to 
that move, do you have any additional military Nunn-Lugar or economic 
aid for Ukraine to release today?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Doyle, generally we are encouraged at the 
way the talks have been going with Ukraine and with Russia.  Keep in 
mind that this is a complicated process.  It is both a trilateral 
process in that the United States is working with Ukraine and Russia, 
and it's also a bilateral process.  That is, there are negotiations 
going on directly between Ukraine and Russia.

          They remain, as they have been for some time, at a delicate -- 
and I would say -- still inconclusive stage.  But I come home, having 
visited Kiev briefly last week, somewhat encouraged -- in part, for the 
reasons that you mention.

          President Kravchuk has publicly declared that he feels he has 
the legal basis under the Ukrainian Rada's action on START to deactivate 
SS-24s.  These, of course, as everybody knows, are by far the most 
potent and, therefore, dangerous weapons on Ukrainian territory.  Their 
deactivation would be a significant step towards defusing the situation 
and, we feel, laying the ground for a solution that will satisfy 
everybody -- and, also, will make it easier for the international 
community to help Ukraine and to shore up Ukraine's security.

          As for Nunn-Lugar, the Nunn-Lugar funds are available, of 
course, precisely to help the former Republics of the Soviet Union that 
still have Soviet nuclear weapons on their territory -- safely dismantle 
those weapons.  So the possibility does exist of using Nunn-Lugar funds 
to that end, and we have been in touch with all sides -- notably, 
including the key members of Congress on this.

          Q    How about verification?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Verification -- in one word, the 
deactivation  of ICBMs -- especially if it takes the form of the removal 
of the top stage of the ICBM  -- is verifiable.

          Leon had something he wanted to add.

          MR. FUERTH:  I just wanted to mention as a sidebar to this 
discussion -- a fairly important sidebar -- that during the Vice 
President's visit with President Nazarbayev in Kazakhstan the government 
of that country finally agreed to a development which is very important 
in the future of our relations with them and in the evolution of this 
issue.  That is, they have acceded to the NPT Agreement, and they have 
signed off on the Safe and Secure Dismantling Agreement -- which means 
that this country, which has an inheritance of strategic nuclear weapons 
from the former Soviet Union, is on the way towards getting rid of them 
and towards entering the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear 
state.

          That helps to clarify the field in which we are operating with 
other parts of the former Soviet Union -- notably, the Government of 
Ukraine.  It's a very important and constructive development.

          Q    Before you leave the Ukraine subject, the Ukrainians are 
saying that there is an agreement now with Russia on compensation for 
the tactical missiles as well as the strategic missiles, which is the 
question that's been holding up the talks for a good, long while.

          Is it your understanding that Russia has agreed (a) I guess, 
in principle, and (b) in some detailed practice about compensation for 
the Ukraine on the tactical missiles that have already been withdrawn 
and returned to Russia?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  I think that I'm up to date on the status 
of those discussions.  Our characterization of it would be as follows:  
Significant progress has been made, including in recent days.  We would 
not, however, characterize it as a final agreement.  Just that the two 
sides are moving closer together on this point.

          All I have seen, by the way, is a wire service report.  I do 
not know exactly what the Ukrainian Government or any official body in 
Ukraine has announced on this subject.  I don't want to get into a 
disagreement with my friends in Kiev over their public statements; but 
the wire service story that I have seen points to an outcome that we 
hope looms in the not too distant future -- but we're not quite there 
yet.

          Q    In analyzing the elections again -- the Russian elections 
-- the Zhirinovsky vote was especially strong among the military.  I 
think there was like 40 percent -- commanders of the Black Sea fleet, 
the Russians in the Baltic, troops in Tajikistan -- as much as 40 
percent, I think, was a military vote.  Does that indicate a greater 
dissent among the military?  And then the question is, does Yeltsin 
really still have control over the army, or is that starting to shift 
now?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  No.  I think we have every reason to 
believe that President Yeltsin is still very much the Commander-in-Chief 
and in control of the army.  But this was a free and fair election.

          Members of the Russian military were entitled to vote for 
anybody they wanted to.  They, as a group, have particularly intense 
concerns about their economic situation and their social situation and 
their future.  I think that their anxieties and frustrations were 
reflected in the strong showing that -- I will say only once -- the "so-
called" Liberal Democratic Party -- and you can just assumed the "so-
called" is there in any future references I make to it -- made in the 
election.

          Here, again, I think it would be analytically a mistake, 
pointing in the direction of the wrong policy, to assume that the 
military vote in favor of the Zhirinovskiy party means that the Russian 
military as a body supports all of the positions that Mr. Zhirinovsky 
has taken over the years with regard to expansionism and relations with 
other states.

          Q    On the nuclear issue, please.  Last weekend, the Russian 
Ambassador to China said in an interview that they are opposing U.N. 
sanctions on North Korea, to solve the North Korean nuclear matter.  Did 
you hear of that?

          And I wonder, have you checked, what is the Russian 
Government's position concerning U.N. sanctions on North Korea, please?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  It did not come up in my own discussions.  
Let me see if Leon knows about it any way in which -- it did not come up 
in the Vice President's discussions in Moscow last week.  And having 
just gotten back, I'm just not up on that.

          Q    You talk about refining or doing something with our aid 
policy.  Is social safety net -- something that was bandied about early 
in the Administration -- coming back on the table?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  What was more than bandied about, Dan, 
was what we've already been talking about, and that is an effort to help 
Russian economic planners build into their policies ways of minimizing 
or diminishing the social and political pain associated with reform.  
That's always been part of our approach, and that will be even more part 
of our approach as we move into the next phase.

          Q    What hasn't been part of our approach is to fund that 
kind of thing.  Is that going to part of -- is that on the table?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  It depends on what you mean by "fund" and 
it depends on what you mean by "that thing."  I would really ask you to 
wait, I think, in the not-too-distant future -- because we are operating 
against the deadline of some things that I'm sure President Clinton will 
want to say to President Yeltsin on this subject in the coming weeks.  
We will have more for you on that.

          Q    But in Tokyo, you said $3 billion, which are targeted for 
this kind --

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  That's the --

          Q    But you haven't funded even a fraction of that, have you?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  We are not satisfied with the pace at 
which the special privatization and restructuring program has gotten 
started.

          Q    How much is in the kitty?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Three billion was authorized by the G-7.  
I think among those ears in which the wakeup call will loudly ring will 
be all of those who are working on that program, to move ahead with it 
and, indeed, to build on it.

          Q    You don't know how much has actually been authorized by 
the governments?  No one has really put up any money at all for this 
program?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Let me just see.  Dan (Speckhard), has 
any money put up?

          MR. SPECKHARD:  We have had our money appropriated for this.  
We've talked to other governments and there's already agreement on 
several elements of that.  The World Bank has money set aside for this, 
and we're just negotiating on the specifics of how it's to be disbursed.

          The money is there.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Including $500 million of --

          MR. SPECKHARD:  The World Bank has set aside $500 million for 
a social oblast support program which is the social aspect of this.

          Q    Do we have numbers?  The U.S. and others?

          MR. SPECKHARD:  We have appropriated $125 million in grants 
and $250 million in credits.  That has already been appropriated by 
Congress that we've got approval from Congress to go ahead with, so that 
would be our share of this.

          Q    And the Europeans, or the others?

          MR. SPECKHARD:  We can get you a detailed breakout of that.

          Q    Do you have an overall estimate?

          MR. SPECKHARD:  Yes.  It adds up to $3 billion.

          Q    No.  Appropriated, not pledged.

          MR. SPECKHARD:  I think we have basically all $3 billion of 
the program.  There's been nobody saying we haven't got this from our 
parliaments yet.  The question has been the details of programming it, 
when they're going to actually release the money.

          Q    (Inaudible) announced in Vancouver, as I recall, was the 
people-to-people, to make sure it didn't get hung up in the bureaucracy 
or someplace else and that it would get out beyond Moscow.  I know a lot 
of that has already been spent.

          Are we talking about reprogramming the '94 funds?  We've 
already programmed the '93 funds to do that.  Are we talking about 
possibly reprogramming the '94, or something new?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  I think what the Administration put 
forward in both Vancouver and Tokyo is something that we want to proceed 
with and build on.  We're obviously going to be looking at a range of 
possibilities.

          Keep in mind that in the $1.6 billion Vancouver package, there 
was a good deal of money.  Depending on which total you take the 
percentage of, as much as three-quarters of one significant component 
was targeted on the Russian private sector, non-governmental sector.  
That's a theme that I think you will see in what we do next -- and also 
targeted outside of Moscow.

          There is a burgeoning private sector now in Russia.  We feel 
that that is where the hope for economic reform really lies.  Another 
part of it which relates to a couple of things that Leon said at the 
outset.  The really big money -- the really big money -- for support in 
Russia and throughout the NIS is going to come from two sectors:  the 
international financial institutions -- the kinds of things that we've 
already talked about -- and the private sector.

          A key purpose of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission is to, as 
Leon said, institutionalize cooperation between the Russian and American 
Governments so that there are orders from the top down -- very 
specifically, from the Russian Prime Minister down -- that will lower 
and, if possible, eliminate barriers to trade and investment so that our 
private sector will get more involved with their private sector.

          Q    A question for Mr. Fuerth, please.  The meeting that the 
Vice President had with President Yeltsin -- you may have already done a 
readout on that, but for those of us who stayed here, can you give us 
any details of what they talked about?  Did they talk specifically about 
trying to get the reformers of all stripes in the Soviet Union to put 
aside their differences and work together?

          MR. FUERTH:  When you have a meeting at that level, the 
subject matter tends to be elevated to the point where it's at an 
appropriate level of detail.  They discussed, in general, the pace and 
direction of reform, the outcome of the elections.  President Yeltsin, 
in particular, was very gratified at the adoption of the constitution.  
They discussed mutual interpretations of where we are and where we're 
going.

          There was also some discussion of how the Gore-Chernomyrdin 
process itself is working.  There's a great deal of satisfaction with 
that on both sides.  And I would say that there was something else which 
is in the nature of an intangible, and that is that the President and 
President Yeltsin have an extremely good relationship.  The Vice 
President's talk with Yeltsin, I think, only helped to enhance that.  
There is a solid feeling of U.S.-Russian partnership, which delivers.  
That's the most important consequence of this process.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  John, could I add just one thing about 
the meeting between the Vice President and President Yeltsin?

          They also talked about the future of the foreign policy of the 
Russian Federation.  That's a subject that we take up in virtually every 
high-level contact and, indeed, in every working-level contact that we 
have with the Russians.  Please keep in mind, especially in the context 
of some of the jitters around the world right now as a result of last 
week, that we support reform in three manifestations:  economic, 
political, and foreign policy.

          Part of what we are supporting is a Russian foreign policy 
that respects the independence and the sovereignty and the territorial 
integrity of all Russia's neighbors.

          Vice President Gore talked to President Yeltsin about that.  
President Yeltsin was emphatic, unambiguous, and very reassuring on that 
subject; namely, that the Russian Federation would continue to respect 
its neighbors and would continue to conduct a foreign policy that was 
consistent with the United Nations charter, the CSCE Final Act, and, 
indeed, the precepts of the Partnership for Peace.

          We feel that that was an important exchange, so important that 
Secretary Christopher has written a letter to the Foreign Ministers of 
all the New Independent States and I believe all of the Central East 
European and, indeed, West European states as well underscoring this 
point from the Gore-Yeltsin talks in Moscow last week.

          Q    Did they talk about --

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Excuse me, this gentleman has been very 
patient.

          Q    In the context of your talks on environment and nuclear 
safety, were you able to make any headway on the issue of dumping of 
military and civilian Russian and old Soviet nuclear waste into the 
oceans -- the Arctic and the Pacific?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Leon was.

          MR. FUERTH:  In fact, I will have to take that specific 
question; but it gives me an opportunity to mention a few things that 
were done in the environmental domain.  There was quite a lot of 
activity there.

          There is announced a joint alternative energy study which will 
allow both countries, working in concert with each other, to look at the 
energy path ahead for Russia to study the ins and outs of different 
energy mixes including nuclear -- and that's on a fast-track.

          There was a decision to create a working group to look at the 
question of closing down three Russian reactors that produce plutonium 
but which are also needed to produce heat for the regions in which they 
are located.  So we are going to have a look together at mechanisms by 
which these plutonium reactors could be shut down with the thermal 
source substituted in some way.  That would be important 
environmentally, important for safety, and an important constituent of 
the President's program to shut down weapons production facilities for 
fissionable materials in general.

          There was also agreement to create a joint working group on 
the subject of nuclear material control and accountability, working with 
the Russian equivalent -- their acronym is GAN -- that's the equivalent 
of our Nuclear Regulatory Commission.  And I think that's an extremely 
important step forward that will involve both the accountability of 
fissionable materials in the civil and military cycles.

          I will take your question on the specific issue of dumping and 
try and get back to you.

          MR. TALBOTT:  That was definitely discussed.

          MR. FUERTH:  That was definitely discussed, but I do not have 
a specific answer for you at this point.  We'll get back to you.

          Q    Strobe, can you give us some idea of what President 
Yeltsin's reaction to and analysis of the election was during this 
meeting with Gore?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Yes.  He didn't use the phrase, because 
it, among other things, doesn't translate very well into Russian, but he 
described it as a wakeup call to his fellow Russian reformers.  He made 
clear that there will be a lot of rethinking among the reformers over 
both the substance of their program and also the presentation of their 
program, and also the degree of cooperation and coherence that they will 
maintain among themselves.

          One of the problems, clearly -- and I don't want to get too 
deeply into Monday morning quarterbacking; I think there's plenty enough 
of that going on anyway -- but it's self-evident that one of the 
problems here is that the reformers were divided among themselves.  
President Yeltsin certainly acknowledged that in his conversation with 
the Vice President and indicated that they on their own -- but also with 
a good deal of leadership from him -- would close ranks once the new 
Parliament comes into being and would also close ranks in 1996 so that 
they will be in a position, as it were, to turn the tables on the 
opponents of reform next time.

          But that will depend.  Their ability to turn the tables on the 
opponents of reform in the '96 Parliamentary elections will depend in 
some measure -- not decisively, but in some measure  -- on the 
willingness and ability of the international community to stick with 
them, which is why our basic message, the basic lesson that we draw from 
the events of the last week is "now more than ever."

          Q    You say they were divided on approach to reform. You 
don't mean divided in their analysis of what the election means, right?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  No, not divided.  No, I mean --

          Q    Just general consensus.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Barry, it's a very understandable set of 
disagreements, especially now that they are a democracy.  You are going 
to have Russian reformers who are going to want to put the emphasis on 
what has been called shock therapy, and others who are going to want to 
see shock therapy leavened or moderated in some way with populism; that 
is, with things like a social safety net.  And I'm sure that there are 
going to be very intensive deliberations among them as they deal with 
budgetary questions and that kind of thing, but try to maintain their 
coherence against the opposition.

          Q    There is this setting up -- perhaps Mr. Yeltsin -- the 
United States is helping Mr. Yeltsin set up a strawman in Zhirinovsky, 
which might permit Mr. Yeltsin to do anything he wants to do or else 
we'll have that fellow Zhirinovsky.  What you said is the ability to 
turn the tables on the Zhirinovskys and the anti-reformers depends upon 
the ability of the United States and the West to stick with Yeltsin.

          Well, doesn't that set up sort of an either/or situation?  Is 
there nothing in between?  Is there nothing there that moderates the 
differences between the two; or is there a danger that the United States 
might stick with Yeltsin in such a manner that is not conducive to the 
interests of the United States, least of all the Russians?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Saul, I've heard Zhirinovsky called a lot 
of names in the past week, but strawman has never been one of them.  I 
think what Mr. Zhirinovsky has stood for in the past pretty well speaks 
for itself.

          But the other part of your point I would not only take but 
would say has been very much part of our policy and our approach from 
the very beginning.  We have said from the very beginning of the 
Administration that we are not just helping or supporting Boris Yeltsin, 
we are supporting a process; and that process has many manifestations, 
and there are many people who are part of it, and they tend -- quite 
reasonably, as we were discussing with Barry just now -- to disagree 
among themselves.  But they are all, to varying degrees and with 
differing interests, reformers, and we are prepared to work with all of 
them.

          That has been our position all along.  In a way, we are now 
going to have an opportunity, with the seating of the new Parliament in 
January, to prove that point because democracy has now been 
institutionalized.  It's not going to be neat, and there are going to be 
plenty of suspenseful moments ahead, especially given the strength of 
the two anti-reform blocs -- the Communists and the Zhirinovsky people 
-- but the United States policy is going to be targeted not just on 
Yeltsin but on reformers elsewhere in the Parliament.

          Q    That would include anti-Yeltsin reformers, I assume?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  It depends on what you mean by "anti-
Yeltsin reformers".  Certainly, if they meet our standards of reform -- 
that is, if they are in favor of democracy; if they are in favor of 
continuing economic reform; although to be sure taking account of the 
social needs of the people; and if they are in favor of Russia 
conducting a foreign policy that respects its neighbors and that lends 
itself to Russia being integrated into the world community, you're darn 
right we're going to support them.

          MS. SHELLY:  Last question.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Leon wanted to add something, and then 
we'll take one more.

          MR. FUERTH:  Just a general observation on where they have 
gotten in terms of institutionalizing democracy.  The Vice President and 
Mrs. Gore participated in a meeting with about 700 young people -- for 
the most part young people -- in St. Petersburg -- an open format in 
which there was give-and-take with the audience.

          Like many of you, I have spent much of my working lifetime 
thinking in terms of life in the Soviet Union.  This was my first 
exposure to what life has become like in the aftermath of the Soviet 
Union.  And as I sat there, and the Vice President began to open this 
up, asking them to ask him questions, I really wondered whether they 
would.  

          What ensued for the next two hours or so was a completely open 
give-and-take between these young people and the Vice President of the 
United States, much of it focused on the concept of political freedom, 
its manifestation in the division of powers, the issues that they face, 
the historical lessons that we learned

          And what I learned from that, simply by observation, is the 
degree to which the political climate has indeed been democratized in a 
fashion that has sent a signal to the young people of the country that 
it's their future and they intend to take hold of it.

          MS. SHELLY:  One last quick question, please.

          Q    As part of your discussions on foreign policy with Mr. 
Yeltsin, have you touched on any regional issues such as the Middle East 
peace process or Bosnia?

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  The Vice President and President Yeltsin 
did not get into that during their own fairly brief meeting.  I think 
their meeting was about 45 minutes or so.  But others traveling in the 
party had intensive discussions with the Russian Foreign Ministry, 
including on those subjects.

          Q    Could we just try and clarify your answer on not slowing 
-- there is no visible evidence, you say, of reforms slowing.  You say 
it is broadening rather than slowing.  There appears to be evidence 
galore that already Yeltsin is doing things that have to be 
characterized as slowing reform to ease the pain.

          AMBASSADOR TALBOTT:  Except in this respect, John, and I 
really don't mean to quibble with you too much about semantics here.  
For reform to be reform, it must be supported by the people.  That is, I 
think, a useful sub-definition of what we are talking about here.

          The process that we are trying to help over there must be a 
process that has the backing of the Russian people themselves, which 
means that there must be a critical mass of citizenry over there who 
feel as though they are beneficiaries of reform.  

          So the reason I resist the suggestion that either the Yeltsin 
Government is slowing reform or we are slowing our support for reform is 
because we feel that correctives and adjustments that are made in their 
policy which will bring more of the Russian people into that process in 
a democratic fashion, so that when this whole issue is next put to the 
Russian people in two-and-a-half years it will have more support, 
qualifies as reform.

          So, as I say, what we are trying to do is help them reach a 
balance between fiscal responsibility and social responsiveness, and 
obviously there is some adjustment required.  That is an important part 
of the message that we got at the polls.

          But the main thing is we did get that message through the 
polls, through a free and open election, and that the Yeltsin Government 
is not only committed to the overall objectives but has a strong 
constitution on which to base its efforts to work with the Parliament 
starting in January.

          Thanks very much.

          MS. SHELLY:  Thank you very much to our briefers, Mr. Feurth 
and Ambassador Talbott.  I can proceed now to take any questions that 
you might have on any other subjects.

          No questions?  Great.

          Q    Do you think Yeltsin's reform program is (inaudible).

          MS. SHELLY:  I'd hesitate to add anything to what's been said.

          Q    Did you have a working-level talk this morning with North 
Korea in New York?

          MS. SHELLY:  Yes.  I'm able to confirm that, at North Korean 
request, State Department officials are meeting in New York today with 
representatives of the North Korean mission to the United Nations. 

          This meeting is taking place at the same level as the previous 
meetings in New York, and I don't have any further details for you at 
this time about the meeting.

          Q    Will you have a readout from that later today, so that 
you could tell us whether this is the North Koreans delivering their 
long-awaited response and what's in it?

          MS. SHELLY:  My understanding is that this is the response to 
our last proposal to them, and I will endeavor to see if we can shed any 
further light on what transpired.  But I'm not making an absolute 
commitment.

          Q    Where did you say this is taking place, physically?

          MS. SHELLY:  In New York.

          Q    No.  Where in New York?

          MS. SHELLY:  I didn't say specifically.

          Q    Could you?

          MS. SHELLY:  No.  I understand that we don't normally give the 
precise venue.  I understand it's in New York.  I believe it's at the 
United Nations, but anything more specific than that we normally don't 
get into.

          Q    Did you receive a response concerning the two nuclear 
sites that North Korea told you in the last two meetings where it would 
not permit inspections to take place?  I mean, Yongbyon nuclear complex 
and the nearby spent-fuel reprocessing plant.  And in this morning's 
meeting, were the two sites discussed; did get a response concerning the 
two sites -- positive or negative?

          MS. SHELLY:  As I just said, I don't have any specific 
information about what took place this morning, so I'm not in a position 
to answer your question.

          Q    Could you take my question and --

          MS. SHELLY:  I'll do my best.

          Q    Could we do Haiti?  I understand there have been some 
meetings this morning with President Aristide.  Do you have anything on 
that?

          MS. SHELLY:  As for the state of play on the diplomatic front, 
we're continuing with our efforts to press toward a solution.  As a 
follow-up to last week's meetings in Paris, this morning we joined the 
UN/OAS envoy, Mr. Dante Caputo, and representatives of the Four Friends 
-- that's Canada, France and Venezuela.  We met today, and then also had 
a meeting with President Aristide.

          We discussed the current diplomatic situation and explored 
with President Aristide the ways in which the current impasse might be 
resolved.

          As we stated in the Paris communique, we believe that the 
Haitian military is responsible for the current impasse.  In response, 
the United States has supported sanctions in an effort to convince the 
military to meet its obligations.

          At the same time, we continue to believe that it is very 
important to maintain an active diplomatic process to try to seek a 
negotiated solution.  That's the focus of our current efforts.

          Q    Who was in the meeting on the U.S. side?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm sorry?

          Q    Who was in the meeting on the U.S. side?

          MS. SHELLY:  I don't have that information with me.  I'll see 
if I can post it later.

          Q    Were the Friends, Caputo and the Americans with Aristide, 
or were those separate events?  Americans, Friends and Caputo, Americans 
and Aristide?

          MS. SHELLY:  My understanding is that it was really kind of 
one meeting that led into another.  But I believe that the U.S. met with 
its Friends first, and then the group met with Aristide a little bit 
later.

          Q    Did they perhaps tell President Aristide that it might be 
to everybody's advantage if he were a little more forthcoming?

          MS. SHELLY:  I'm not really in any position to characterize 
the nature of their deliberations.  If there is anything further that I 
can provide you as a readout on that meeting, I'll be happy to try to 
post something later this afternoon.

          Q    Does the U.S. agree with Prime Minister Malval's 
assessment that Aristide has been one of the major barriers to moving 
ahead in this process?

          MS. SHELLY:  As to what the Prime Minister said over the 
course of the last couple of days and how he characterized the role and 
involvement of the President, I think I'd really have to refer you back 
to the Prime Minister.

          Q    I was not talking about what he said.  Does the U.S. 
agree with the Prime Minister's assessment?

          MS. SHELLY:  I think that it's not so much a question of 
implicitly or explicitly agreeing or disagreeing with it. The Secretary 
himself on Friday morning addressed the question of Aristide and his 
return, and indicated that that is still something very much that we're 
backing.

          He's also indicated the context in which we're working the 
diplomatic solution, and I think that we certainly are continuing to 
work with President Aristide in our efforts to try to find a solution to 
the problem which, as I mentioned, remains very much to try to work this 
through the diplomatic solution with all of the interested parties.

          Q    But he keeps on shooting down your ideas.

          MS. SHELLY:  I think that the proposal to have the conference 
was, as proposed by Prime Minister Malval, was an idea that we thought 
had rather considerable potential.

          But as we've also said, it's really up to the parties directly 
involved in this to try to find the best possible means to move out of 
the current impasse.  Certainly, as Prime Minister Malval, in his acting 
capacity, seeks to try to find a way out, I think that any proposal that 
held promise is certainly that we and all of the other parties would 
want to look into.

          Q    But you said the conference was an idea that had 
considerable potential.  Is it an idea that still has considerable 
potential?  Would you like that one resurrected and back on the table?

          MS. SHELLY:  I think that is certainly still a possibility.  I 
don't think that any option at this point, whether it be on the 
diplomatic state of play or proposals for meetings for conciliation, I 
don't think anything has been ruled out at this point.

          It was one possibility which was floated as a kind of peace 
conference to try to sort out the future of Haiti.  As we said at the 
time, we felt that the proposal had a lot of merit.  I would say that 
we're certainly not writing it off at this point.

          Q    When you say that the government believes it is very 
important to maintain active diplomatic process, did you press that on 
Aristide, or no one mentioned it's very important to maintain an active 
diplomatic process, when you spoke to Aristide today?

          MS. SHELLY:  I've given you what I've got so far about that 
meeting.  I don't have a more detailed readout than that.  If there's 
anything in addition to what I've said so far that I can provide, as I 
said, I'll try to post something this afternoon.  

          Q    People have said that they would like some security 
guarantees for such a meeting to go places.  How do you feel about that?  
That's what he said -- Ambassador Casimir said a couple days after Mr. 
Aristide and President Clinton met.  How do you feel about security 
guarantees for Aristide's people in the event of talks?

          MS. SHELLY:  We've certainly heard that mentioned as a 
possible need.  I'm not aware that we've taken a precise position on 
that point.  I'll be happy to look into it and see if there's anything 
we can add.

          Q    Thank you.

          MS. SHELLY:  Thank you.

(Press briefing concluded at 1:31 p.m.)

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