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U.S. Department of State
96/06/17 Press Conference on Russian Elections & Other Issues
Office of the Spokesman
 
 
 
 
                     U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE 
                     Office of the Spokesman 
___________________________________________________________________
For Immediate Release                                June 17, 1996 
 
 
 
                        PRESS CONFERENCE 
              SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER 
                             ON THE 
                RUSSIAN ELECTION AND OTHER ISSUES  
                          June 17, 1996 
                         Washington, DC 
 
 
MR. BURNS:  Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.  Welcome to the State 
Department.  The Secretary of State has a statement to make on the 
Russian elections and other foreign policy issues.  Following that, he 
has got time to take three or four of your questions. 
 
Mr. Secretary. 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good afternoon.  As you all know, there have 
been a number of very important developments in the field of foreign 
policy in just the last few hours and days.  I want to comment on each 
of them, beginning with the Russian elections. 
 
Yesterday's Presidential election was a significant milestone for the 
Russian people.  Over 85 million Russians cast ballots, their first 
chance ever to choose the leader of their country. 
 
Preliminary indications are that the process went quite smoothly.  The 
observers who were there are offering comments to that effect.  Of 
course, we'll be receiving further comments from the monitors. 
 
Our policy toward Russia is deeply rooted in American interests.  We 
have engaged with the Russian Government intensively to pursue our 
security interests, to pursue foreign policy cooperation -- with 
significant benefits to the United States, to Russia, and to the world. 
 
We also, of course, want to see democracy take root because that will 
benefit the Russian people and the American people as well. 
 
Our approach to the runoff will be the same as our approach to the first 
round.  We will continue to stress our support for the democratic 
process and for political and economic reform. 
 
Our expectation is that all parties will abide by the eventual outcome.  
We will remain determined to pursue American interests as well as we 
watch the situation, whatever the result is of the election. 
 
Let me now comment briefly on the situation regarding China.  We spent 
an enormous effort in strengthening our relationship with China over the 
last several months and years because that relationship has a profound 
effect on the security and prosperity of the United States and of our 
friends. 
 
Several hours ago, Acting USTR Representative Charlene Barshefsky 
announced in Beijing that we have reached agreement with China on the 
implementation of key provisions of the February 1995 agreement on the 
enforcement of intellectual property rights. 
 
This is a sound and effective agreement.  It will bring fundamental 
change to the enforcement of intellectual property rights in China.  The 
agreement sets out a number of necessary and important action that China 
is taking in four specific areas. 
 
First, on factory closures -- China has shut down 15 illegal compact 
disk factories and prohibited the establishment of any new CD plants. 
 
On enforcement -- China has announced a sustained crackdown on illegal 
producers, distributors, and transporters. 
 
On border enforcement -- Chinese Custom officials have agreed to new 
efforts against the export of pirated products, and they will stop the 
import of unauthorized CD production equipment. 
 
Finally, on market access -- the agreement will create new opportunities 
for American audiovisual and software companies in China's very rapidly 
growing market. 
 
The success of the intensive talks over the last several weeks, and 
especially this weekend, will help protect the jobs of American workers; 
it will help to open new opportunities for American companies, and it 
will promote the integration of China into the global economy. 
 
Let me conclude with some brief comments on the Middle East. Containing 
the threat proposed by Iraq to peace and stability in that region has 
been a critical priority for our Administration from the day that we 
took office. 
 
Saddam Hussein continues to defy United Nations Security Council 
resolutions regarding his country.  In recent days, we've seen once 
again a disturbing pattern of interference by Iraq with the inspection 
mission of the U.N. Special Commission led by Chairman Ekeus. 
 
Today, I want to underscore what the Security Council declared on 
Friday. 
 
The denial of access to UNSCOM constitutes a flagrant violation of 
existing Resolutions 687, 707, and 715. 
 
UNSCOM, we believe, must receive immediate and unrestricted access to 
Iraqi facilities.  Under the circumstances, we can accept no less. 
 
Finally, let me just mention that I spoke to Israeli Prime Minister-
elect Netanyahu last Friday.  As you know, he is completing the task of 
forming his government, although it is not finally complete yet.  I look 
forward to meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu and his team in the 
near future. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, on President Yeltsin, should he sustain his 
lead and win the runoff, I wondered about U.S. foreign policy interests.  
You've have a pretty good relationship, this Administration has, on 
security interests such as keeping nukes under control, help in Bosnia, 
help on the Test-Ban Treaty. 
 
Would you anticipate the same kind of Yeltsin approach to the United 
States?  There's a suggestion that he would become more of a 
nationalist; that somehow out of this election he would adopt, you know, 
a more inward approach.  I wondered what you thought of all that? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Barry, that question has too many hypotheticals 
buried in it for me to answer today.  There will be another round of 
elections in two or three weeks.  We don't want to speculate on the 
outcome of that election, and we don't want to speculate on what the 
policies of whoever wins that election will be. 
 
What I can say is that United States interests are enduring.  We have an 
interest in military and nuclear cooperation, which has accomplished so 
much for our two countries by way of helping to rid the world of the 
threat of nuclear weapons. 
 
Second, we'll have a continuing strong interest in cooperation in the 
field of foreign policy, where once again our work together has 
accomplished a great deal -- as it is now, for example -- in working 
together on a Comprehensive Test-Ban. 
 
And, finally, we will continue to pursue our interests in internal 
reform within Russia. 
 
Those are the interests we'll be pursuing, and we'll be pursuing them 
whatever the outcome of the election. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, are you now prepared to make a judgment about 
the willingness and ability of the Netanyahu Government to pursue peace, 
particularly since the Prime Minister-designate over the weekend 
stipulated some principles, including his refusal to cede the Golan 
Heights? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Carol, the Prime Minister has not yet put 
together his government.  We've not had an opportunity to discuss with 
him the policies he'll be following.  Until we have that opportunity, I 
think it would be much premature for us to comment on any of his 
particular policy positions. 
 
We have seen continuing references to his desire to pursue the peace 
process, and we look forward to an opportunity to discuss with him the 
guidelines that he's laid down [and] his overall approach to the peace 
process.  Until we do so, I think it would be quite unwise and premature 
for me to comment.   
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, given the news out of Beijing, do you have any 
plans to go to Beijing before the end of the year?  I know you'll be 
seeing the Chinese Foreign Minister at an ASEAN meeting, but do you have 
any plans to go to Beijing? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Charlie, I do not have any plans.  One of the 
things that I look forward to doing when I see Foreign Minister Qian 
Qichen at the ASEAN meeting -- I believe it's in Indonesia this year -- 
is to talk to him about the visits that I proposed and discussed, both 
the visits at my level and also at higher levels that I have referred to 
in the speech I made in New York.  That's an initiative that I want to 
pursue, and I look forward to discussing that with him in the next month 
in Jakarta, I believe. 
 
MR. BURNS:  The final question to Mr. Erlanger. 
 
QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary, have you or any member of the government, so 
far as you know, had a conversation with Mr. Yeltsin today, and does 
this stance of neutrality mean -- if not -- that you will not be 
speaking to him between rounds unless there's some urgent foreign policy 
question? 
 
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  As far as I know -- and I think I would know -- 
we have not talked to Mr. Yeltsin today.  I imagine he has his hands 
rather full.  As the President said, he looks forward to talking with 
Mr. Yeltsin when he has an opportunity in the next few days.  We 
continue to have matters to discuss with the Russian Government, 
including the upcoming meeting in Lyon and the plans for our getting 
together there.  We've not contacted him today, but as the President 
said, I think we'll be doing so in the relatively near future. 
 
Thanks very much. 
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