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U.S. Department of State
96/09/23 Remarks with Russian Minister Y. Primakov, New York
Office of the Spokesman

                   U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
                   Office of the Spokesman

For Immediate Release                     September 23, 1996

                        REMARKS BY
                   YEVGENIY PRIMAKOV

                Waldorf-Astoria Hotel
                  New York, New York
                  September 23, 1996

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  Good evening.  I'm very pleased to meet again 
today with Foreign Minister Primakov.  As you can tell from the time 
that elapsed, we had a lot of things to discuss.  We discussed a very 
broad range of issues involving cooperation between the United States 
and Russia, both in Europe and around the world.

There's no better evidence of our cooperation than our work together in 
favor of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.  I'm very pleased that 
Foreign Minister Primakov will be signing on behalf of Russia tomorrow, 
as will President Clinton on behalf of the United States, being among 
the first signatories of the treaty.

As you know, we've been working toward an agreed demarcation of the 
anti-ballistic missile systems as they are limited by the ABM Treaty; 
systems that are limited and systems that are not.

Today, we reached a milestone in that agreement in the process launched 
by President Clinton and President Yeltsin at their May 1995 summit 
meeting.  Foreign Minister Primakov and I confirmed that an agreement 
has been reached on the first phase of the negotiation covering lower 
velocity, theater missile defenses.

The documents will be signed by the end of October, and we'll work to 
complete an overall demarcation agreement as soon as possible.  This 
important progress assures that we can effectively defend against 
theater ballistic missiles, while ensuring the integrity of the ABM 

In today's meeting, we reviewed the continuing progress of our efforts 
to build peace and stability in Bosnia.  We worked together over the 
last several weeks on a successful, general election in that country.  
The Minister and I today referred to the importance of the upcoming 
municipal election.

The next critical step in Bosnia, in addition to the municipal election, 
is making sure that the national institutions will function effectively 
and they'll be able to carry out the provisions of the Dayton Accords.

As I said to the Minister, I think the record of cooperation that our 
two nations have forged in Bosnia is a very positive sign, good 
implications for the future of our security ties.  Our partnership in 
IFOR is a first step toward building a fundamentally new relationship 
between Russia and NATO.  Our discussions will continue.  We'll be 
working on that subject.

I reaffirmed to the Minister that we want Russia to be our full partner 
in building a democratic and undivided Europe.

I might mention one more matter.  I asked the Minister to convey the 
concern of President Clinton and myself for President Yeltsin's health 
and to wish him the very best over the next days and weeks.

MINISTER PRIMAKOV: (Through interpreter) Thank you, Mr. Secretary. The 
negotiations were quite lengthy. They went even beyond the scope of what 
we envisioned.  The negotiations were useful.  Both sides understand 
full well how important the relations between our two countries are.

Both countries are interested in seeing to it that these relations 
should be improved.

Different issues were examined.  The Secretary has mentioned that we did 
have a discussion with regard to the crisis in the former Yugoslavia.  
We are of the opinion and we believe that we both are of the opinion 
that the most important thing now is the implementation of the results 
of the elections which took place in Yugoslavia, which means the 
creating of the supreme authority which would cement the relations 
between two state entities.

We came to the agreement that our sides will do everything in order to 
see to it that such a ceiling would be installed over Bosnia and 

Naturally, we did discuss the situation in Europe.  We have different 
approaches to the NATO expansion.  On the other hand, there is full 
understanding that everything should be done in order to prevent this 
from hampering the development of the Russian-American relations.

Thank you.

QUESTION:  A question for the Secretary.  With President Yeltsin's 
health in question and every day there are reports that he's sicker than 
originally thought, are you confident that the Russian Government is 
speaking with one voice to discuss matters with it?

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  First, with respect to President Yeltsin's 
health situation, we are pleased that he is getting excellent care and 
is addressing those problems.  About that, I can only say that we wish 
him, in the most heartfelt way, a quick recovery and wish him the very 

There was no question today about the fact that the Minister was 
speaking for the government.  Prime Minister Chernomyrdin is the active 
day-to-day working head of the country.  President Yeltsin, of course, 
is still very much involved and in charge.  Nothing that I perceive 
gives me any question about the fact that the Foreign Minister is 
speaking for his government or in any other respect the elected and 
constituted authorities aren't speaking for their government.

QUESTION:  (Through interpreter) The question is, I understood Secretary 
Christopher that you reached certain agreements on disarmament?  Maybe I 
understood everything wrong.  Could you clarify that?

MINISTER PRIMAKOV:(Through interpreter)  Your understanding is correct.  
The joint statement which exists attest to the fact that the first stage 
on the demarcation between the different systems of the ABM has been 

Since early October the sides embarked on the second stage of the 
negotiations -- on the second stage -- and the second stage is related 
to the high-velocity systems.  When these negotiations are over, that 
would signify the end of the demarcation between the strategic and 
theater ABMs which would have, or which can have a significant, positive 
effect on the ratification of the SALT II in the State Duma.

QUESTION:  Mr. Secretary and Mr. Minister, I wonder if you discussed the 
situation in Iraq, and whether you have the same opinion of it, 
continuing usefulness or otherwise.

SECRETARY CHRISTOPHER:  We discussed the situation in Iraq very briefly.  
We indicated our satisfaction that the situation seems to be calming 
down there.  Beyond that, I don't want to go further into the nature of 
our discussion on that subject.  It came up, but it was not a primary 
subject of discussion today.

Thank you very much.

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