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U.S. Department of State
96/02/10 Remarks with Russian ForMin Primakov
Office of the Spokesman

                      U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                       Office of the Spokesman 
                         (Helsinki, Finland) 
For Immediate Release                             February 10, 1996 
                     Congress Hall, Kalastajatorppa 
                           Helsinki, Finland 
                           February 10, 1995 

SPOKESMAN BURNS:  Ladies and Gentlemen, good afternoon.  Secretary of 
State Christopher and Mr. Primakov will have short statements to make. 
After their statements they are going to take four questions from the 
press. If you are an American journalist please signal me if you would 
like to ask a question.  We will start with an American question and 
then Mr. Karasin will call on two Russian journalists. 
[* Russian-English Translation by Dmitri Zarenchak, U.S. Dept. of State] 

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Good morning.  The Foreign Minister and I have 
now met for about six and a half hours - three and a half hours alone 
last night and about three hours this morning with our teams.  I would 
describe the meetings as being very good and productive. With the 
responsibilities the Foreign Minister and I have it is very important 
that we have an effective working relationship.  I would say that we are 
off to a good start. 
We have reviewed a very wide range of issues in the time we have had 
together and it is clear that the cooperation between our two countries 
has served us well in many, many areas.  We have close working 
relationships and our mutual efforts have been valuable for the cause of 
world peace and security and prosperity. 
We talked, of course, about the future.  Over the next couple of months 
we have fairly intensive meetings in the relationship.  In particular we 
feel that we can make progress in the nuclear area, hopefully the 
ratification of the START II treaty; with the nuclear safety summit 
coming up in Russia in April which we talked about getting prepared for;  
and with the collaboration between our two countries in seeking a 
comprehensive test ban. 
We were realistic in our discussions today and noted that, although we 
have wide areas of agreement, there are also areas where we have 
differences. And we said in respect to those areas we would seek to 
resolve them and if we couldn't resolve them, we would work out our 
differences. So all in all, good and productive meetings.  We are off to 
a good start.  Thank you Mr. Minister. 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  Thank you Mr. Secretary of State, you have 
already said that we have had very intensive talks here.  We devoted all 
our time to it so we didn't even have a chance to walk around this 
beautiful city.  It is our first meeting, a very important meeting for 
us.  I want to agree with the evaluation of the meeting, it was a very 
fruitful one and during this meeting we were able to discuss a large 
number of issues.  We discussed regional issues in order to resolve 
existing conflicts, to combat terrorism, in order to exclude from 
international affairs those unpleasant consequences of the cold war 
which sometimes are still felt.  
We agreed that our relationship from now on would be one of total 
equality and will be based on the principles that you have proposed, Mr. 
Secretary of State, that I fully agree with. The principles are the 
following. We must not place ourselves in a situation where unexpected 
things occur fait a complies. We must have consultations. We need to 
implement all agreements reached between us and we need to find 
solutions to those problems where, for the time being, we have not found 
solutions. We do have differences, and we will have differences, but we 
need to do all this without sliding into confrontation. Because this 
would be very dangerous, not only for our relationship but for the whole 
world and for the world order which is now coming into being.  
I also want to stress that we discussed a whole range of issues, such 
issues as the settlement of the Middle East process, the infrastructure 
of European security and the situation in the Asian Pacific region. And 
I think we have resolved those issues that are connected with questions 
of integration, of countries which formally belonged to the Soviet 
Union. I stress that during the talks that no-one is talking about 
reinstituting the Soviet Union. This simply cannot be and there is no 
talk about any doing away with the sovereignty which the various 
republics have acquired. The republics of the former Soviet Union the 
sovereignty is irreversible and no-one is forcing or will force its will 
in these integration processes. In general, from my point of view, our 
meeting was extremely useful. I have invited the Secretary to come to 
visit Moscow about the 20th of March to continue our talks and I think 
this was a good beginning for the development of the relations between 
our two countries. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Primakov, given your experience, particularly in the 
Persian Gulf, you spoke of regional stability, how does Russia's 
relationship with Iran and Iraq trying to provide nuclear technology to 
Iran and reports of a major oil deal with Iraq, while the United States 
is trying to isolate both countries economically - how does that promote 
regional stability and friendship with the United States?  Or are you 
concerned with friendship with the United States in the Gulf? 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  We are interested in cooperating with the 
United States around the world including on a regional basis. With 
regard to our relations with Iran I have explained to the Secretary of 
State, they do not transcend the bounds which would be dangerous for 
peace and which would lead to the creation of weapons of mass 
destruction and nuclear weapons. We proceed from the premise that there 
are not such programs in Iran and in our dealings with Iran we want to 
make sure that this will never happen in the future. 
QUESTION:  What about Iraq? 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  Please don't command, don't give me orders 
QUESTION:  Could you please make a comment about the confirmation that 
that Russians and Americans are having good relations right now and have 
you been able to overcome those differences which you discussed in your 
introduction?  Thank you. 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  I don't think that there is any reason to 
think that the US Russia relations are in some kind of crisis. There is 
simply no basis for this. Relations are developing normally and the main 
thing is that both sides are convinced that the relationship should be 
based on the principle of equality. 
QUESTION:  On reciprocal steps, would Russia be obliged to take if the 
United States goes ahead with its plan to expand NATO to former Warsaw 
pact countries like Poland and in particular, would you consider placing 
short-range nuclear missiles in countries near the border like 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: First of all, I would want the answer to be 
shorter than the question.  I want to say that it would be desirable for 
NATO not to expand.  We do have differences on this.  We don't conceal 
this and we need to look for resolutions that would satisfy all parties 
including the countries of Eastern and Central Europe. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Primakov, what about the internal situation in Russia, 
what the Secretary of State mentioned at Harvard University there was 
particularly an acute statement made. 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  I am familiar with the statement by 
Secretary Christopher made at Harvard so I think this question really 
should be addressed to the Secretary of State.  The situation in Russia 
is touched upon as is the one in the United States since both our 
countries are now at the time of the election campaign for the 
presidency. And we exchanged views on this issue.  But I have just 
spoken about equality and all of the questions are directed to me so 
there is no real equality here. 
QUESTION:  Mr. Minister, in light of the gains by the Communist Party in 
the recent elections and the upcoming presidential elections, U.S. 
officials are concerned that the pace of economic reform in Russia will 
be slowed and in Russian foreign policy there will be increased anti-
West nationalism.  One, is there going to be more Government spending 
soon announced or are some the reforms going to slow down, does there 
need to be more public subsidies, and two, what are you going to bring 
to the job that is new in the post, how are you going to establish your 
mark as Foreign Minister? 
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV:  First of all, I want to say with great 
pleasure that the Foreign Minister is not involved in domestic economy 
and there will be no movement backwards.  There is no question that 
democratization of our society will continue and there is no doubt that 
that policy which is connected with the name of President Yeltsin will 
continue. But at the same time there will be corrections made in the 
policy so that the reforms not hit hard on those segments of the 
population that are the worst off.  In other words, the social aspects 
of things will be concentrated on more than prior to that. 
QUESTION:  How will put your stamp on the office of Foreign Minister?  
(Inaudible) What about the second part of my question? 
QUESTION:  Mr. Christopher, specifically, what kind of assurances did 
you get from the Russia that President Yeltsin is not taking a more hard 
line in foreign policy, a more hawkish line to an extent that would 
disturb the United States? 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We had a long discussion but I stress, this was 
a meeting in which to get acquainted. We are going to be meeting again 
in a month in Moscow. We exchanged views on a wide variety of issues. 
You know, when you look at a long agenda it is very interesting to see 
that numerically, the areas where we cooperate, where we have common 
ground, far outweigh the other areas. With respect to President Yeltsin, 
this of course was not a meeting where commitments were exchanged but 
the Foreign Minister made it clear that President Yeltsin was continuing 
on the path of both political and economic reform and I found reassuring 
his comments with respect to various aspects of the approach, although 
as the Minister said, there are areas of difference and we are quite 
candid about identifying those. I think it is useful to be candid 
because that means that you can either try to resolve them or manage 
them.  That is one of the commitments we made to each other.  Thank you 
very much. 
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