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U.S. Department of State
96/07/23 Briefing with Russian ForMin Primakov, Indonesia
Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State
Office of the Spokesman
For Immediate Release July 23, 1996
JOINT PRESS AVAILABILITY WITH
SECRETARY OF STATE WARREN CHRISTOPHER
AND RUSSIAN FOREIGN MINISTER YEVGENIY PRIMAKOV
July 23, 1996
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through Interpreter) Ladies and gentlemen,
we have just finished a rather lengthy conversation with the Secretary
of State, Mr. Christopher. After the end of the conversation, we
compared notes and came to the conclusion that the conversation was
successful, and both of us expressed satisfaction. First of all, we
highly value the Forum which just ended here today. We also came to the
conclusion that the participation of the countries which are not
situated in this region but do participate in this Forum, not only have
good reasons for [their participation], but also that participation
produces positive results.
Among the international issues we considered were the situations in
Yugoslavia and in the Middle East. We reiterated our desire to have
timely elections in Bosnia, and we again stressed that all obstacles
should be removed from the road to such negotiations. Our two countries
do act along that road, in that direction. With regard to the situation
in the Middle East, interest was expressed from both sides that the
peace process should be implemented there without lengthy intervals. In
that context, we supported the results achieved during the visit of
Prime Minister Netanyahu to Egypt and his negotiations with President
Mubarak, as well as the context of the meeting of the Minister of
Foreign Affairs of Israel, Mr. Levy, with the leader of the
Palestinians, Mr. Arafat.
The main thing that I wanted to draw your attention to, ladies and
gentlemen of the press, is the joint statement that we have decided to
make together on the banning of nuclear tests -- on the treaty on the
banning of nuclear tests. The text of the statement is as follows:
"Guided by the desire to do everything possible to bring about the
implementation of the terms of reference of the Conference on the Treaty
on the Comprehensive Banning of Nuclear Tests and the decisions of the
United Nations with regard to the signing of the Treaty on the
Comprehensive Banning of Nuclear Tests, the Russian Federation and the
United States of America are prepared to support the draft Treaty on the
Comprehensive Banning of Nuclear Tests as it was proposed on June the
28th of this year by the Chairman of the Special Committee on the
Banning of Nuclear Tests of the Conference on Disarmament, Mr. Ramaker,
although it -- that is the draft -- does not fully satisfy both sides.
We urge other participants in the negotiations to also support that
draft, so when the work of the session of the Conference on Disarmament
is resumed on July 29th, its participants could make a decision to
approve the draft treaty and to send it for approval and for opening for
signature in the course of the forthcoming session of the United Nations
It is our common view that this joint statement has great significance.
I thank you for your attention.
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Thank you. Let me say I'm pleased to be here in
Jakarta with Foreign Minister Primakov. I think his presence here --
Russia's membership in the ASEAN Regional Forum, as well as now being an
ASEAN dialogue partner -- is a very welcome addition, and it reflects
the Russians' growing engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. This is the
first time the Minister and I have gotten together since the Russian
election. The election was a tremendous achievement for the Russian
people. It reaffirmed the great value of the democratic process in that
country. As you know, last week Vice President Gore was in Moscow for
the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, which continues to address practical
requirements for bringing Russia into the mainstream of the world's
industrialized democracies. The President, the Vice President and I are
all committed to work with Russia to promote economic growth and reform.
An important part of our discussion today focused on European security,
because over the course of the next year we'll be facing some very
important decisions there that can contribute significantly to stability
and integration. We expect to have intensified discussions with our
European allies and friends, including Russia, on these important
questions. Today focused on the way ahead, including the way ahead on
the relationship between Russia and NATO. As the Minister said, we
discussed the situation in Bosnia where our troops -- that is Russian
troops and NATO troops, the United States' troops -- are cooperating in
a very excellent way. We talked about the September elections and the
importance that they go forward under conditions that allow the people
of Bosnia to make their choices freely and fairly. Our common effort
there, I think, is an indication of our possibilities of cooperation in
a new Europe. I thank the Minister for reading out the statement. I
share his view that the joint statement by United States and Russia has
Just two other matters briefly. We did talk about the importance of the
Russian Duma ratifying the START II Treaty and the common interest of
both nations, and we discussed the continuing situation in Chechnya. As
usual, as the Minister said, we had a productive and useful meeting
together. I thank him for hosting the meeting and for having a valuable
meeting, again. Thank you, Mr. Minister.
QUESTION: Are you fully satisfied with your meeting with the Russian
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Yes, I'm fully satisfied. It's only one in a
long series of meetings but I think we've developed a very sound and
business-like way of working together, which has proved to be valuable
for both of our presidents and our countries.
QUESTION: This is a question for both Ministers. What is the problem
with the latest disbursement of the IMF loans? Does this relate to
problems related to promises that were made (inaudible) the Russian
elections, and how soon can it be cleared up?
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through Interpreter) I would like to see
the promises kept, and I do hope that they will be kept.
QUESTION: That doesn't really answer the question. What is your
understanding as to why this IMF disbursement is being held up now?
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through Interpreter) I do not think that
there is any kind of a critical situation which has been created in our
relations with the International Monetary Fund. The elections, which
were just held in Russia, showed that Russia moves along the road of
democratic reforms, along the road of introducing reforms in the
economy, and is a fully predictable country. It is a common assessment
that better conditions are created for investments in Russia and for
credits to Russia, and we are totally confident that all that will be
carried into effect.
QUESTION: Mr. Primakov, what did you tell the Secretary of State about
the recent fighting in Chechnya? How long will it go on?
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through Interpreter) The situation in
Chechnya is quite serious. We embarked on the road of holding
negotiations aimed at the peaceful solution of the Chechnya problem.
But that does not mean at all that there would not be any response to
those encroachments and attacks against the federal forces.
Unfortunately, our opposite numbers do not always control the situation.
Individual field commanders on occasion just defy the requests of the
others. I remain an optimist, and I fully adhere to the conviction that
a solution is not possible without peaceful negotiations.
QUESTION: Do both of you share a concern on Burma becoming an observer
SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER: Burma has become an observer in the ASEAN
Regional Forum, and there is value to having them in the ASEAN Regional
Forum. There was extensive discussion last night of the situation in
Myanmar, or Burma. I think that was a healthy discussion and it
resulted in a further discussion today of that subject. The fact that
those subjects can be discussed is one of the great values of the ASEAN
Regional Forum, with a very strong membership and an ability to discuss
differences of opinion. The United States has a different approach and
a different opinion on this subject than some of the other members of
the ASEAN Regional Forum. We expressed our views quite forcefully last
night with respect to the situation in Burma, and the value of dialogue
here in the ASEAN Regional Forum, I think, was established today.
FOREIGN MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through Interpreter) Russia highly values
the status of a country partner in the dialogue that Russia received.
We regard ASEAN as one of the poles of the multi-polar world which is
being shaped now after the end of the Cold War. The integration
processes in Southeast Asia are quite successfully being implemented.
The human, industrial, and intellectual potential of this area is quite
high. That was manifested both yesterday and today during the dialogue
on many vital issues. It was the first time that I participated in this
forum as the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia. I liked very much
that matters of concern and interest for the entire area have been dealt
with in depth -- sufficient depth -- and I liked very much the
atmosphere of good will which has prevailed during the work of this
Forum. In many respects this is the achievement of Indonesia, which was
the host country and was represented by the Chairman of the Forum during
this intersessional period. Thank you.
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