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                            THE WHITE HOUSE

                    Office of the Press Secretary
                            (Kiev, Ukraine)
For Immediate Release                                      May 11, 1995

                            PRESS BRIEFING

                           The Ukraine House
                             Kiev, Ukraine

6:24 P.M. (L)

             MR. MCCURRY:  Good evening, everybody.  The President has
just concluded a very productive meeting with President Leonid Kuchma
of Ukraine, and the U.S. delegation visiting Ukraine for the meetings
today have had with their counterparts very successful meetings as

             I would like National Security Adviser Tony Lake to brief
you on the President's one-on-one meeting with President Kuchma.  But
I've also asked Secretary of State Christopher to talk about our
overall relationship with the Ukraine, talk about his meeting today
with his counterpart, Foreign Minister Udovenko.  Secretary Rubin is
here.  He's had good meetings with the First Deputy Prime Minister, the
Minister of Finance and the Minister of the Economy, and I'll start
with Secretary Christopher, then Secretary Rubin and then Tony.

             Secretary Christopher.

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Thanks, Mike.  This was President
Clinton's first state visit to Ukraine.  It gave him an opportunity to
accept the invitation that President Kuchma gave him when he visited
the United States last fall.  More broadly, it gave President Clinton
an opportunity to emphasize the importance the United States attaches
to its relationship with Ukraine, which is a relationship of
independent and unique significance.

             The President pointed out that Ukraine has a very
important strategic place, and its future will have a lot to do with
the future of this entire region.  Ukraine is a very important European
power and we respect it as such.

             Nineteen ninety-four was a milestone year in the
relationship between the United States and Ukraine.  That year enabled
us to put the nuclear issue behind us as Ukraine acceded to the
Nonproliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state.  It makes, I
think, the United States and the whole world safer and more secure that
this has been done.  And isn't it significant that we're here in
Ukraine at the very time at the United Nations when they're voting on
the indefinite extension of the Nonproliferation Treaty.  For what
Ukraine did in 1994 has been one of the key building blocks to our
persuading the nations around the world, as we hope they'll be
persuaded when the votes come in, to agree to an indefinite extension
of the Nonproliferation Treaty.

             The United States has been working very closely with
Ukraine on economic issues.  We've committed substantial resources
here.  I won't carry on about that, but the $700 million in resources
committed to Ukraine makes Ukraine the fourth largest of all the aid
recipients of the United States.

             As a result of these many things that have happened in
1994 and the first months of 1995, I can say with confidence that the
United States-Ukrainian relationship is now stronger than ever before.
We came here with three key objectives:  to strengthen the durable
friendship that we have, to demonstrate that friendship; we came to
offer support for the economic reforms that are happening here, to urge
Ukraine, despite the dislocation and difficulty to stay the course; and
then to discuss the new security agenda between the United States and
Ukraine -- it relates to the terrorism issue, it relates to the problem
of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, and it relates to
international crime.

             These were the subjects that I discussed, among others,
with Foreign Minister Udovenko today.  As a result of our discussions
and the work that's gone on before we arrived here today, a joint
statement has been issued, which cover a number of matters.  I would
say, in conclusion, that our coming here today strengthened our
commitment to the territorial integrity and great significance of
Ukraine as an important European power not in somebody else's orbit,
but as independently important to the United States and the world.

             Thank you very much.

             SECRETARY RUBIN:  Thank you.  The economic team that
traveled with President Clinton had two days of meetings in Russia with
public and private sector figures, discussed a number of very important
issues within the context of a very good, strong, ongoing working

             Today, we had the pleasure of meeting with Ukraine's
economic team.  And as I reported to President Clinton after the
meeting, it was an extraordinarily impressive meeting.  It was a group
of people; the economic team had a very good sense of the issues, had a
very good sense of what they needed to do, and had a real sense of
strategy and vision.

             I had worked with a lot of companies when I was in the
private sector and obviously have worked quite a number of more since
I've been in the administration, and this was truly a very, very
impressive economic team with a very good sense of what they need to do
and where they needed to go.

             In the years following Ukraine's independence, the United
States was very concerned -- with good reason --with respect to
economic performance and the possibility of economic reform.  But
following President Kuchma's election last summer, Ukraine has embraced
bold reform and is clearly moving forward with vigor.  Prices have been
freed, the exchange rate has been floated.  The budget deficit, which
had been projected at 20 percent of the total economy of GDP, is now
expected to be pared back under the existing plan to 8.5 percent of
GDP, and the goal is to bring it down to 3.5 percent of GDP this year.
There's also a strong program of privatization that is now underway.

             In the discussions we had today with Ukraine's economic
leaders, we talked about the remarkable amount that's been accomplished
in a very short period of time, but our primary focus was on the
enormous amount that remains to be done in the long road ahead.  We
assured Ukraine's economic leaders about our strong continuing support.
At the Naples Summit, the G-7 pledged to support $4 billion worth of
aid from the international financial institutions -- that is to say,
the IMF, the World Bank and the sister banks -- $2.7 billion has
already been committed.  There's no question the $4-billion goal will
be achieved, in fact, I think exceeded.  And there's been $1 billion of
bilateral aid committed, including $350 million from the United States.

             The administration has a strong, ongoing working
relationship in the economic area with the appropriate counterparts in
the Ukraine.  And as I said a moment ago, we have been very involved in
helping with the IMF, with the World Bank and the sister institutions.
We've provided bilateral aid, and we've provided technical assistance
in a broad range of issues.

             Today we discussed expanding that technical aid.  Some of
the issues we discussed were:  tax structure, capital markets,
privatization, social safety net, government bond market, various trade
and investment areas.

             Just today, the Export-Import Bank has agreed to extend
loans and guarantees on a medium-term basis to Ukraine as recognition
of the extraordinary accomplishment under President Kuchma.

             There is a great deal to be done in the years ahead, but
it is also very important to note that a great deal has been
accomplished in a very short period of time.

             Thank you.

             MR. LAKE:  Let me give you a summary, at least, of the
President's meeting with President Kuchma which lasted for about an
hour and a half, as these things happen, running somewhat over what had
been scheduled, and then there was an expanded meeting which the
Secretaries on each side reported on their respective meetings.  And
then there was a general discussion, and I would have said that went,
what -- another hour or so.

             Compared to the President's last visit to Ukraine at the
airport when he was involved in negotiating the trilateral nuclear
deal, and compared to the last two days, or day and a half, of
substantive discussions in Moscow, this was not a visit for heavy
lifting on substantive issues.  It was an occasion to both be very
supportive, as Secretary Christopher and Secretary Rubin said, of
Ukraine, and to celebrate what has been an extraordinarily good year in
working with Ukraine and making progress on various issues.

             Rather than go back and forth on what happened at the
meeting, let me simply summarize what each of the Presidents said.
President Kuchma thanked President Clinton for his own efforts in
gaining assistance with the G-7 and in our own bilateral assistance to
Ukrainian economic reform.  President Kuchma discussed their economic
reform efforts, as well as their democratic progress, and I'd say that
this was the main issue that President Kuchma addressed.

             He also addressed the issue of relations with Russia.  He
said that their model out ahead of them is the U.S.-Canada
relationship.  And he said, interestingly, that Ukraine has an interest
in a -- good U.S.-Russian relationships, and therefore he welcomed the
results of the summit, which the President had filled him in on, that
I'll come back to.

             With regard to European security and NATO, President
Kuchma said that he thought that NATO is "a factor of stability in
Europe," and that Ukraine favors the evolutionary expansion of NATO.
He said, also, that he appreciated and all Ukrainians appreciated the
President's participation in the 50th anniversary celebration of V-E
Day, and that this was a celebration, of course, not only for Russians,
but for all the members of the former Soviet Union.

             The President began by expressing, again, our support for
a sovereign, strong, stable Ukraine, and noted that he had said this,
also, to President Yeltsin.  And Secretary Christopher said that the
President expressed his view of the strategic importance of Ukraine in
Central Europe and beyond.

             The President again expressed his support for economic
reform in Ukraine, along the lines that Secretary Rubin just stated.
He thanked President Kuchma for what he had said about NATO and
confirmed that the process of NATO enlargement will be gradual and

             The President emphasized that we do not want to see a new
division of Europe because that could leave, potentially, Ukraine in a
kind of a grey area in the new Europe, and we did not want to and will
not see that happen.

             He said that he thought that Ukraine is handling its
relations with Russia and its opening to the West in -- he said it was
"just right."  The President welcomed the Ukrainian role in the
Partnership For Peace.  And let me, if I may, just add here that we
believe that Ukraine's participation in the Partnership is really a
model of what such participation ought to be.

             There will be 10 Partnership exercises this year with
Ukraine, four exercises sort of in the spirit of the Partnership in
addition with the United States.  We have a very active bilateral
military relationship with Ukraine.  The Ukrainians have done very well
over the last year in placing their military under greater civilian
control, et cetera.

             The President has asked the Congress for FY '96 for $100
million, the so-called "Warsaw Initiative" to help partners in their
participation in the PFP, and of that, $10 million would go to Ukraine,
which is the largest chunk out of that.

             In addition, the President again expressed his very strong
satisfaction in what he called "the courageous decision" that Ukraine
made to give up its nuclear weapons.  Secretary Christopher said that
at this moment, in fact, in New York, they are now or will soon be
voting on the indefinite extension of the NPT.  We anxiously await that
word.  The President has put in a very great deal of work into getting
a positive vote there, and we are quite hopeful.

             In my view, if Ukraine had not taken the decisions that it
did, it is extremely unlikely that, in fact, we would be in a position
now to gain that unconditional extension.

             The President reviewed with President Kuchma also his
meetings with President Yeltsin.  President Kuchma welcomed the Russian
decision with regard to the Partnership For Peace documents; and
finally, the President, in reporting on the Russian government's
decisions about cooperation with Iran, the President ran through,
again, the dangers posed by Iran, especially to nations in this region.

             Thank you.

             MR. MCCURRY:  I just also wanted to introduce the U.S.
Ambassador to Ukraine, Ambassador William Miller, and he's here as well
if you have any specific questions for him.

             Q  I want to ask Secretary Christopher, what do you think
of Senator Dole's criticism of the summit and calling it a failure and
reassessing the whole question of aid to Russia.

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  You know, in my generation there
was an old-fashioned custom that Americans did not criticize the
President when he was abroad.  The thought was in those halcyon days
that there would be time enough when the President returned home to
assess his performance.

             Putting that old-fashioned custom to one side, let me also
say that it seems to me to be a relic of the Cold War to think that
every time the American president and the Russian president get
together their meeting has to be scored like a night baseball game with
wins and losses and a box score.  But if there is to be a box score, it
seems to me very hard to put this in the loss column or the failure

             How can you put it in the loss column when we -- the
President achieved the agreement of the Russians to join the
Partnership For Peace by embracing the two documents that had not yet
been signed and will be signed before the end of the month, or will be
approved before the end of the month?

             How can it be a loss when the Russians have agreed abandon
the most dangerous part of their nuclear cooperation with Iran and also
agreed to consider the entire program in the Gore-Chernomyrdin channel?
How can it be a loss when there's been an agreement on the principles
with respect to the ABM Treaty and theatre nuclear weapons?  Or how can
it be a loss when you achieve what was achieved with respect to
conventional weapons and so-called COCOM arrangement?

             Now, there were many important, significant achievements
in that meeting.  So I think if you are going to add them all up, you'd
have to say that it was a very significant meeting with very
significant progress.

             In the business of diplomacy, you frequently score runs by
hitting singles, and I think the President and President Yeltsin hit a
series of good, solid singles that will add up to scoring a great many
runs.  I'm going to be testifying next week before one of those who was
a severe critic, and I look forward when I get back to talking with
Senator Dole and others.  I've got great respect for Senator Dole
because I think if we can sit down together and go over the record of
this particular meeting between the Russian President and the United
States President, it will be seen to advance American interests, and
that's what it's all about.

             Q  Mr. Secretary, what about that long -- you talk about
halcyon days.  Well, ever since Vandenberg, there was a long string of
bipartisanship in foreign policy.  Are we seeing the end of that era?

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, I certainly hope not, and
I'm dedicated to work in the direction of maintaining that
bipartisanship in foreign policy.  The reason we'll do so is because
it's in United States interest to achieve the things that we achieved
here.  It's in the United States interest to have a bipartisan foreign
policy; so I'm dedicated and determined to work for that.

             Q  Mr. Christopher, what about the threat to cut off aid?

             Q  Mr. Secretary, Senator Dole has been around for a long
time, has seen a lot of summits.  Why do you think he's got such a
bleak assessment?  How does he come by that?

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  You'll have to ask him about that.
I look forward to talking with him when he gets back -- when I get
back, sorry. I'm not sure at what point he made the statement or
whether the reporting was full at the time he did.

             Q  You didn't respond to Helen's original question, which
was the threat to cut off aid and I wondered if Mr. Lake might give
some of us who weren't on Air Force One his comments on that as well.

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  With respect to United States aid
to Russia, the test always must be whether or not that aid is in United
States interest.  And I'd be very surprised if either of the senators
who commented would not agree with that test.  I'd be quite willing to
discuss every aspect of our aid and measure it by that test.

             I don't think anybody would want to cut off aid to Russia
if it's in the United States interest, as, for instance, is Nunn-Lugar
aid.  Nor should we want to cut off United States aid if it's an aid of
privatization in Russia.  So we need to ask the American people the
questions as to whether or not they want to cut off aid that serves
underlying American strategic security interests and, measured by that
test, I don't think the Congress will want to cut off the aid. But I'm
quite prepared, and my colleagues are, too, to stand up to that test.

             MR. LAKE:  As I said on the plane, we have a fundamental
national security interest in supporting economic reform and democracy
in Russia. We do that not through words, but by what we bring to the
table.  And if we severely reduce, or even cut off aid to Russia, we
will do terrible damage to ourselves as well as to the Russians.

             Let me say that you should define American national
interest in the terms of the interests of American citizens in their
everyday lives.  Ask yourself what would have happened if we had not
had the kind of relationship with Russia and the kind of -- provided
the kind of support for Russia that we have over the last couple of

             Perhaps the most obvious point here is that without that
relationship, the Presidents, Clinton and Yeltsin, would not have been
able to negotiate the agreement which now results in there not being
American and Russian missiles targeted at each other.  If we had not
had aid to Russia, as well as Ukraine and Kazakhstan and Belarus, we
would not have had the trilateral nuclear deal that is now so important
to gaining the indefinite extension of the NPT.

             Ask yourself, also, what the everyday lives of American
citizens will be like five years from now if American assistance does
not help democracy and economic reform in Russia survive.  The impact
on our budget and our defense budget alone suggests that, while you
could save perhaps some money now by cutting back aid, American
taxpayers would have to spend a lot more down the road.

             So, again, I think that this is, at this very important
strategic moment, and this important moment in the future of Russia,
with elections coming up at the end of this year and the middle of next
year, for us to cut back this aid or to allow this issue to become
embroiled in our own domestic politics could have potentially have even
tragic results for the United States and for our citizens.

             Q  What do you expect to happen in Chechnya when the
cease-fire expires?  Is there going to be explosion or is it just going
to be what it is now?

             MR. LAKE:  I think, regrettably, that in fact, as you
know, during the cease-fire that the Russian government announced, the
fighting has, over recent days, been increasing.  And I think that you
would see the same pattern continuing.  In our view, and as the
President said very firmly in his televised address to the Russian
people, we consider this a tragedy, and we hope that there can be an
indefinite extension of the cease-fire that begins to work better, as
well as a political conclusion to what is a tragedy, not only for the
people of Chechnya, but a factor that is damaging reform within Russia
and damaging Russia's relations with other nations.

             Q  Mr. Lake, did President Clinton and President Kuchma
discuss the clean-up at Chernobyl?  And is there any agreement on how
much the Western nations, the G-7 nations will provide for that

             MR. LAKE:  Yes, President Kuchma did describe briefly
their hopes for shutting down Chernobyl in the coming years and for
looking for alternative sources of energy.  This is an expensive
proposition.  This is an expensive proposition.  It is not something,
of course, that the United States alone can underwrite and, therefore,
the President will be discussing this issue at Halifax and with our G-7

             Bob, did you want to add anything to that?  Secretary
Rubin agrees with that, to my great relief.

             Q  The difference has been very wide between what Ukraine
says in what we need to provide in what we apparently are willing to
do.  Has that been narrowed at all, or --

             MR. LAKE:  You'll have to discuss that at the G-7.

             Q  Mr. Lake, Ukraine wanted to be part of the G- 7 to
appear and to discuss in Halifax.  Are you in agreement with that?  Did
you accept their demand?

             MR. LAKE:  The President said that he would look into
that.  That is, of course, a decision that would have to be made by the
whole G-7, not by us.

             Q    I have a question for Secretary Christopher.

             MR. LAKE:  Good.  (Laughter.)

             Q  The United States and Japan appear to be embarked on a
course of confrontation over trade.  What does that portend for the G-7
meeting? Does it introduce friction and uncertainty into that meeting,
and what does it say about the broader U.S.-Japan relationship?

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Well, we have a very broad
relationship with Japan, which has political aspects, security aspects.
We strongly support a common agenda with them in which Japan is one of
the largest contributors to important environmental matters around the
world.  So we certainly shouldn't see this relationship in a single

             I think that one of the things at Halifax will give the
leaders an opportunity -- that is, the two leaders of Japan and the
United States -- an opportunity to discuss these trade frictions.  I
hope it may give them an opportunity to resolve the trade frictions
between the two countries.

             From the standpoint of the United States, this tremendous
trade surplus that Japan is running is simply not a sustainable matter
of our relationships between the two countries.  And since autos and
auto parts -- they're such a very large part of that unacceptable trade
surplus, I think it's natural the United States should have taken these
steps, or it was important the United States have taken these steps.
But Halifax will provide an opportunity for the Prime Minister of Japan
and the President of the United States to discuss these matters, and I
hope it might be the occasion for resolving them.

             But the United States, I think, finds this problem
sufficiently urgent so that we wanted to begin moving on it at the
present time and start the clock running for the imposition of the
sanctions and, as you know, Secretary Kantor -- Mickey Kantor, the
Trade Representative, took two important actions.  First he asked the
WTO to look into the conduct of Japan in connection with this sector of
the trade, as well as announcing the sanctions that would take place --
that would take effect within a given period of time after the
announcement.  But there'll be an opportunity at Halifax before the
sanctions go into effect, for there to be a discussion at highest

             Q  Secretary Rubin, do you want to add anything to that?

             SECRETARY RUBIN:  No.  (Laughter.)

             Q    But you will?  (Laughter.)

             No, I think Secretary Christopher said it very well.  The
President, from the very beginning of the Administration, has been a
strong advocate of free trade and open markets.  When the second
largest economy in the world has substantially less access than any of
the other major trading countries, then that is an issue that is in the
mutual interest of both Japan and the United States to resolve.  And
that was the genesis of the Framework Agreement.  And it is pursuant to
the Framework Agreement that these actions are being taken with respect
to the automotive sector, which, as Secretary Christopher said, is the
largest sector in our trade deficit.

             But I think that we -- certainly at the G-7 finance
ministers' meeting, which occurred two weeks ago, we had a successful
series of conversations on many other subjects without this interfering
with the dialogue.  And I would trust the same would be true in

             Q  Secretary Rubin, a security question.  Would you
recommend shutting down Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White

             SECRETARY RUBIN:  Well, I have not made a report yet to
the President, and I really think I ought not to comment on it before I
do that.

             Q  Well, did he at one point say he did not want it
closed?  And would that factor into your thinking?

             SECRETARY RUBIN:  He and I have not discussed this subject
at all, and I have not yet made a report to him.  And I am certainly
not going to comment on it until I do report to him.

             Q  Mr. Lake, did President Kuchma offer an opinion on
leaving his peacekeepers in Bosnia?

             MR. LAKE:  The question is whether President Kuchma had
discussed the peacekeepers in Bosnia and the answer is -- his
peacekeepers there -- and the answer is no.  The subject didn't come

             Let me add, though, that Ukraine, in addition to being a
model of a partner in the Partnership for Peace, also has played a very
positive role in peacekeeping abroad, which we appreciate.

             Q  This is also for Tony.  Did the subject of the Crimea
and the Black Sea Fleet come up at all?  And was there any request for
the U.S. to play any type of role between Russia and Ukraine?

             MR. LAKE:  Yes, it did come up -- not at great length --
in the context of the President's applauding the way Ukraine has
handled its relationships with Russia.  This is of course -- Crimea is
an internal Ukrainian issue.  The Black Sea Fleet negotiations

             President Kuchma did not ask President Clinton or the
United States to play a particular role in this.  We have said that we
are prepared to be helpful if both sides ask us to become involved.
And that is not the case.

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  In the interest of completeness, I
think I should say that the Ukrainian Foreign Minister raised the
question about Ukrainian troops, he said, in Croatia, and he said that
the Secretary General indicated that there is no longer need for those
troops in Croatia.  He indicated that they'd be willing to have them
stay in that general region and I simply noted that and said that I
would raise that at the United Nations if it seemed appropriate to do

             The question with respect to the Crimea also came up in
the meeting that I had with the Foreign Minister and we discussed at
some length the handling of matters of that kind, between countries who
are adjacent to each other.  We discussed the relationships between
Ukraine and Russia.  And I must say the Ukrainians have the highest
ideals to establish very friendly and warm relationships with Russia.
And I think they're going about it in a way that deserves approbation.

             Q  Mr. Secretary, you had said in Geneva that the Russians
asked for an expanded role in G-7 and that you turned them down at that
time because of what they were doing in Chechnya.  Yeltsin, yesterday,
apparently said -- indicated that in fact the Americans have agreed to
an expanded role for Russia on the economic side of G-7, and I was
wondering whether the U.S. had caved on this?

             SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  My understanding is that Russia
will have precisely the same role that it had last year with the one
exception that I noted at the time of Geneva, and that is that the
dinner on the night between the G-7 economic summit and the political
summit will this time be a working dinner rather than a social dinner.

             The distinction between those two has never been very
rigid in my mind, sometimes we work at social dinners and sometimes
we're quite social at working dinners.  (Laughter.)  In any event, that
distinction is made and, certainly, President Yeltsin will have an
opportunity at that dinner to raise any issue that he wants to raise.

             But the economic communique will have been issued before
that dinner, and from my standpoint, there's not been an expansion of
the role of Russia at this year's summit with the one exception that
I've mentioned to you with respect to that dinner.

             THE PRESS:  Thank you.

                              END 6:59 P.M. (L)
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