94/09/27 Press Briefing by the Secretary of State  Return to: Index of 1994 Secretary of State's Speeches/Testimonies || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

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September 27, 1994

                            PRESS BRIEFING


                          The Briefing Room

                           The White House

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I'm going to give you brief comments on 

today's meetings.  This is only halfway through, and so you'll 

be not surprised if many of the things are tentative, and in 

many instances, I can only give you subject matter without any 

agreements or particular indications as to how things went.  In 

short, this is an intermediate report. 

My own sense of it is that this was a good example of a day of 

a partnership that is working very effectively and a 

partnership between the two men is very effective.  They began 

by a one-on-one discussion, which immediately they determined 

would last through the morning, rather than going into a 

delegations meeting, and the two Presidents went until 12:45 


My own impression, from seeing them together this afternoon 

bears out what I heard about this morning.  These are two men 

who like each other.  They speak quickly in an animated way. 

They've learned to communicate very effectively and they get 

right down to business. 

This will, I think, eventuate in more than $1 billion of 

commercial agreements being signed before this summit is 

finished in the Ex-Im area, in the OPIC area, and in the trade 

development area. They began this morning by reviewing the 

economic situations in both countries.  In different ways there 

has been unusual progress since the last time the two of them 

were together; progress toward stability and effective 

operation in Russia and the progress toward economic recovery 

here in the United States. 

President Yeltsin expressed appreciation for the President's 

decision on Jackson-Vanik to find Russia in compliance and make 

it no longer necessary for them to have annual reviews. 

President Yeltsin expressed the hope that they would be able to 

go the next step; that is, to graduate them completely from the 

Jackson- Vanik requirements.  That will require a congressional 

action, and President Yeltsin, in expressing appreciation for 

what was done this year, indicated that they hoped they could 

take that next step in the future. 

There was both in the one-on-one meeting, as well as in the 

delegations meeting, which took place in parallel, discussions 

about the situation in Bosnia.  I think there is appreciation 

that there is a new circumstance there in that the Bosnian 

government does not wish to have the arms embargo lifted and 

implemented -- I'm sorry -- the lifting of the arms embargo 

implemented at the present time, and has indicated that they 

feel that a six-month deferral of the lifting would be in their 

own interest.  Both sides indicated that this six-month period 

ought to be used to try to bring the Bosnian Serbs into 

agreement.  There was common ground that we should continue 

with the unity of the Contact Group, carrying out the 

incentives and disincentives, and making maximum use of the 

Serbian government's willingness to cooperate in putting 

pressure on the Bosnian Serbs. 

A very interesting suggestion was made and President Clinton 

suggested that it would be very desirable if there was mutual 

recognition between Serbia and Bosnia of their borders and of 

their right to exist.  And President Yeltsin recognized the 

importance of that idea and indicated that that was something 

that was desirable and they would try to pursue it. 

I would say the discussion of Bosnia will probably continue 

into tomorrow, but this was an example of the need to maintain 

unity between the Contact Group and an indication here between 

the United States and Russia that they would be able to do so, 

aided by the deferrable with respect to the lifting of the arms 


There was a discussion of COCOM and Russia's participation in 

COCOM.  As you know, there's been an issue there about Russian 

arms sales to Iran.  Without being able to be more explicit, I 

would say that I believe there's a resolution in sight on this 

very difficult issue.  That will be discussed again tomorrow 

and perhaps we can have more details on that at the end of 

these meetings. 

There was a discussion also of CFE, the Conventional Forces in 

Europe Agreement.  It was interesting that the parties seemed 

to be on common ground, that ways would be found to resolve 

that issue within the current limits.  There was no sense of a 

determination to break out by any means. 

In the delegation meeting -- and perhaps I should step back and 

explain that while the Presidents were having their one-on- 

one, the remainder of the delegations discussed the issues that 

they had before them.  Foreign Minister Kozyrev, the Deputy 

Prime Minister Soskovets and, I believe, Defense Minister 

Grachev; and on our side, Secretary of Defense Perry from the 

United States side, and on the delegation the Vice President 

and myself and others. 

We began the discussion in the delegation meeting by discussing 

the many ways in which we worked effectively together in the 

course of the last year.  We discussed at some length the 

Baltics and how the removal of the Russian troops on accordance 

with the timetable was a major step forward.  And I pointed out 

that one of the positive benefits from the Russians handling 

this in the way they did was that the Baltic countries now seem 

to be very anxious to have maintained a good relationship with 

Russia, and they've come to us indicating a desire to make sure 

that their new relationships with Russia are sound ones. 

We talked about the trilateral agreement between Russia, the 

United States and Ukraine that was regarded by all hands as a 

positive development.  We discussed the withdrawal of Russian 

troops from Moldova.  And we discussed the progress in the 

Middle East where we're cosponsors, and we received some 

compliments from the Russian delegation about progress we had 

made there and the fact that we kept them fully informed. 

This afternoon, President Yeltsin and President Clinton joined 

us after that very moving ceremony with respect to the World 

War II veterans.  They summarized what they had done in their 

one-on- one conversations, and then we went through a number of 

additional topics.  There was a good discussion of crime and 

corruption in both countries.  Both Presidents indicated that 

their people had a high degree of interest in the resolution of 

these problems and it was agreed that there would be mutual 

efforts to cooperate on these matters. 

There was the same kind of a discussion on nuclear smuggling, 

and it's hoped that perhaps even before this summit is 

concluded that there will be more details and more specificity 

on approaches to nuclear smuggling.  But the parties clearly 

want to be forthcoming on this issue, to exchange vast amounts 

of information so that both parties are up to date or 

understand what the nuclear conditions are in each other's 


North Korea -- there was a very preliminary discussion of North 

Korea in which views were exchanged and there was an agreement 

to stay in close touch on that. 

Toward the end of the day there was a discussion of security 

issues, and I think that since that was preliminary and not 

conclusive that I will not try to brief on those issues, but 

simply for completeness sake, I wanted you to know that there 

was -- perhaps for the last half hour -- a discussion of 

security issues, which I think will be briefed to you tomorrow. 

That's basically the outlines of the day.  As you can see, a 

great many subjects were discussed.  Discussions were very 

intense, despite the fact that time was taken out for a 

luncheon at the State Department in which President Yeltsin was 

the guest of Vice President Gore and the moving ceremony with 

respect to the veterans. Nevertheless, all these subjects were 

covered, and I think we're anticipating a very full day again 


Q    Were you hinting that Russia will halt its arms sales to 


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  I'm hinting the resolution of this 

matter is within view.  And since that was the core of the 

problem, obviously it would involve some approach of that kind. 

Q    Sir, do you have similar hopes for China's missile 

technology sales to Pakistan?  You know the Chinese delegation 

is coming here next week and it is on the agenda.  Is this 

going to be a good week for ending proliferation to unstable 


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Barry, it didn't take you very long to 

get beyond the summit today.  I really would rather not 

characterize the prospects there.  It is true that the Foreign 

Minister Qian Qichen is coming here to Washington next Monday 

to meet with me and also to meet with the President and that 

will be a topic of high importance on the issue.  But I don't 

want to try to characterize the likely outcome.  Q    Mr. 

Secretary, did President Clinton comment in any way on 

President Yeltsin's speech at the United Nations yesterday; 

particularly the part where he talked about -- not using this 

term -- sphere of influence in the form of the Soviet Union? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, they exchanged compliments on 

each other's speeches.  An unusual thing that they spoke on the 

same day and in the prior years, there had been quite a studied 

effort to separate their speeches.  And I think it's a 

reflection of the new partnership at work that they spoke on 

the same day.  On the sphere of influence issue, there was 

certainly no reference to that, and I think neither party, 

neither of the sides recognized spheres of influence. 

As you know, our efforts in Haiti were pursuant to United 

Nations resolutions.  We expect that the efforts of Russia and 

the new independent states will be pursuant to international 

law and such international organizations as CSCE or the United 

Nations.  So, no, I didn't hear any discussion on spheres of 

influence, and the reason is that the parties don't recognize 


Q    Can I just follow on that?  Does the lack of a comment on 

that mean that the President endorses what Mr. Yeltsin said on 

that subject yesterday? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: You know, you have to tell me exactly 

what that was, but I'm sure if there was -- if that was 

implication of spheres of influence, the President does not 

endorse that. 

Q    He said, for one thing, basically that Russia is the chief 

guarantor of basically freedom in the old Soviet Union, sort of 

"our backyard" argument.  Do you subscribe to that? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, we recognize that Russia 

naturally has a particular interest in countries on its borders 

just as we do, but I wouldn't agree with the characterization 

of a principal guarantor, because I think that's a matter for 

the international community as a whole, working through such 

organizations as United Nations and such regional organizations 

as CSCE. 

Q    He also said that there should be no double standard when 

it comes to securing human rights and for major countries to be 

the guarantor of human rights.  It was no double standard that 

-- you know, it was sort of a clear implication with regard to 

Haiti, but you reject that, obviously? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, yes I do, and I think we're 

active in Haiti for the reasons the President has stated, and 

one of the important ones is because of the many atrocities 

there in Haiti, and that's one of the obviously American 

interests that bring those to an end. 

Q    To what extent does the United States encourage the 

Bosnian Muslims to accept the six-month postponement of the 

embargo? Did the Russians give you any indication today that 

they might be willing to accept a U.N. resolution stating that 


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, as you know, Doug, we've been 

hearing for some time that the Bosnian government might be 

taking a somewhat different position with respect to the timing 

of the lifting of the embargo.  When Prime Minister Silajdzic 

came to see me last Friday and when President Izetbegovic met 

with the President on Sunday, they put forward in a formal way 

the idea of a postponement or a deferral of the lifting of the 


That was spelled out in President Izetbegovic's speech at the 

U.N. today.  When we heard that from the Bosnian government, it 

was an idea that seemed to us, since they came to us and 

explained the reasons for it, seemed to us to make good sense, 

and I think we're anxious to try to explore the modalities of 

carrying it out through a U.N. resolution. 

What was said today in the meeting by the Russians that they 

welcome that thought because it would give us that much 

additional time to try to persuade the Bosnian Serbs to accept 

the plan put forward by the Contact Group.  The Russians place 

great store by the pressure being put on the Bosnian Serbs by 

the Serbian government, and so I think, giving that additional 

time for that to happen that they've regarded as a positive 


Q    Mr. Secretary, is there going to be a new agreement 

designed to curb smuggling of nuclear material that you're 

going to announce tomorrow?  Is that what you're hinting at? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  No, I'm not hinting that.  I'm hinting 

we might have something more to say about it. 

Barry, did you want to follow up? 

Q    I just wanted to follow up, please.  The way you phrased 

the Bosnian situation opens to my head the possibility of going 

ahead with the resolution on the 15th but with a delayed 

effectiveness, a six month -- so you're not foreclosing, are 

you so you're not foreclosing, are you, the President keeping 

his commitment to Congress by presenting a resolution on the 

15th, but its implementation being delayed for months, is that 


SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  On the contrary.  I am saying the 

President will carry out his commitment to Congress, and will 

go forward with the presentation of a resolution with some kind 

of a delay in the implementation of it.  Just how that's worked 

out will be, I think, negotiated fairly heavily over the course 

of the next month because there are some delicate issues to be 

worked through there.  But the President will keep his 

commitment to Congress in going forward with such a resolution 

by about the first of November. 

Q    Mr. Secretary, could you be a little bit more specific on 

the kinds of things that the Contact Group can do to convince 

the Serbs to that which they haven't done for the past several 

months?  And further, is there any more serious thought than in 

the past that we've given to the idea of a sort of 

multinational summit on this problem? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, with respect to the kinds of 

things -- as you know, the United States has long thought there 

ought to be a stricter enforcement of the exclusion zones, and 

perhaps an expansion of exclusion zones.  And the six-month 

period would give us an opportunity to pursue that.  I think 

that the United States intends to talk to the other members of 

the Contact Group about ways to do that. 

As you also know, the United Nations has recently approved a 

resolution, or will be approving soon a resolution putting 

stricter sanctions on the Bosnian Serbs.  And I think the 

enforcement of those stricter sanctions, especially the 

economic form of those, can put some additional pressure on. 

There was a reference today by the Russians of the possibility 

of an international conference.  Our feeling about that -- the 

United States' feeling about that is that such a conference may 

serve a purpose at some point, but it would be some distance in 

the future after we worked through the possibilities we have 

now to try to put additional pressure on the Bosnian Serbs. 

Q    Mr. Secretary, with the suggestion by President Clinton 

about the mutual recognition between Serbia and Bosnia of the 

borders -- would that be complicated at all by the map that is 

being discussed at this point?  How would that work, exactly? 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  No, because Bosnia-Herzegovina remains 

an entity, and Serbia would simply be recognizing the entity of 

Bosnia-Herzegovina and thus recognizing the borders.  Part of 

that discussion was that that might be accompanied by an 

additional relaxation of sanctions.  I think our position would 

be that there should be no recognition -- there should be no 

talk about any additional suspension or relaxation until that 

kind of a commitment was forthcoming; that is, the Serbian 

government recognizing the territorial integrity and 

sovereignty of Bosnia. 

Thank you very much. 


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