U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman (New York, New York) For Immediate Release September 6, 2000 ON-THE-RECORD BRIEFING BY DEPUTY SECRETARY OF STATE STROBE TALBOTT September 6, 2000 New York Foreign Press Center DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: I am happy to do this on the record. QUESTION: So we can set up our cameras? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: You can tape record it, you can use it on the record, but why don't we just do it as a conversation. But everything I say is on the record. And I don't have an opening statement. Mr. Prikhadko and I were the notetakers in the session between the two presidents this morning, and I have been in that capacity for nearly eight years, going back to Vancouver, so I have some historical perspective on the relationship that has developed between our president and your two presidents during that period. And since your president is here in the States for the first time as president, and since there is only one more meeting that we know of at least between President Clinton and President Putin -- President Clinton is coming to the end of his term -- I thought it might be of some interest to your readers and viewers if we were to not only talk a little bit about the immediate event and not only talk about the future, but maybe look back over the last seven years or so and analyze together where we started, how far we have come, what some of the difficulties have been. That kind of thing. I'll just, to get to the ball rolling, tell you that President Clinton was most satisfied with the meeting this morning. They spent almost 90 minutes together, which was longer than had been anticipated. The relationship between the two presidents is easy, in a human sense. The subjects aren't always easy, but the rapport between them is easy. It's no-nonsense. I think the best Russian translation of that would be delovoy. It is personal. They now are "Bill and Vladimir" and "na ty," coming from the Russian. They don't waste much time. A number of the tough issues that they have been dealing with have come up between them in their previous meeting and of course -- hi, everybody. We're on the record, by the way, so you are welcome to tape if you want. They had met twice when Mr. Putin was either prime minister or acting president -- or I guess -- no, twice when he was prime minister and three times now since he has been president. So not only have they developed a personal rapport, but the agenda between them, even though there is always some new issue to be discussed, it also includes some fairly familiar issues. So they can speak about these and compare views and recommendations in a fairly economical way. They covered quite a bit of ground this morning. They started on the subject of Kursk, at President Clinton's initiative. He expressed his profound sadness and sympathies, not just to the bereaved families but also to the Russian people and indeed to the Russian leadership. And they talked a little bit about the lessons of this, which I can come back to you if you want. By the way, throughout this I am going to limit myself to characterizing the American view and President Clinton's view. I assume you have got pretty good sources on the Russian side, so you don't need me to tell you what your president said and thinks, nor would it be appropriate for me to do so. President Clinton talked a little bit on the subject of Kursk about a subject that is of big interest to him, and that is the way in which the world has changed because of the communications revolution. So that when some Russian sailors die a terrible death in the Arctic Ocean or farmers in Mozambique are driven out of their homes and have to take refuge in the trees, literally, from floods, or an American federal office building is blown up by terrorists, people all over the world feel a sense of identity with the victims and with the people who are most influenced by those -- (inaudible). And President Clinton talked a little bit about how this is a good thing and a difficult thing. It's a good thing in that it sort of reinforces common humanity. It's a good thing in that it makes it harder to hate other people when you have sympathized with them or you know more about what they are going through. At the same time, it can be a complicating factor in governance and in political leadership. They talked about that. They also discussed some issues which have been difficult challenges for us, both difficult in their own right and also difficult as issues between the United States and Russia: the Balkans, Milosevic, Kosovo, the Gulf, Iraq, the posture that we should take together in the United Nations vis-*-vis Saddam Hussein's defiance of the inspection regime, Iran, the importance from Russia's own standpoint as well as from ours of making sure that dangerous technology doesn't reach Iran. Now, the issue of the strategic relationship -- START, National Missile Defense -- actually did not figure that prominently in this meeting for a fairly simple reason. It was so prominent in the first two meetings -- that is, in Moscow and Okinawa -- that the issue has been put into other channels now. Secretary Albright will be talking about this with Foreign Minister Ivanov tonight. It came up during discussions between Sergei Ivanov and Sandy Berger over the last couple of days. I have held another round of the so-called Strategic Stability Group dialogue with Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov, who has been my principal counterpart in the Russian Government. And as a result of the work that has been done since the Okinawa meeting and today, President Clinton and President Putin were able to sign a new document on cooperation between the United States and Russia and reinforcing strategic stability. That is one of the more concrete outcomes today. They looked ahead to their next meeting, which will be at the APEC forum in Brunei, the leader summit in Brunei. And President Clinton talked a little bit about the foundation of a stronger US-Russian relationship that he would like to leave to his successor, whoever that turns out to be. Because whoever wins the American presidential election, whether it's Vice President Gore or Governor Bush, that person will be dealing with Vladimir Putin -- soon, often, intensively, and on a lot of tough issues. And President Clinton wants to leave office at the end of January with the US-Russian relationship in the strongest possible shape. He has given no issue in the world more attention than this one consistently over the last eight years. And we've been through some very rough times together, and they are not over. And Russia has been through some rough times of its own, and they're not over. And President Clinton feels very strongly that when Chelsea grows up and has children and when Chelsea's children have children, they will live in a safer world if the United States and Russia are on the same side and on the same team and sitting at the same tables, including here in New York, and working with a common view on the same set of issues. That doesn't mean that we ever will agree on everything. We don't agree with some of our closest allies on everything, by a long shot. We don't agree with ourselves on everything, by a long shot. But for most of the 20th Century, and certainly for 50 years of the 20th Century called the Cold War, we practically didn't agree on anything -- anything -- except that we didn't want to blow each other up. We agreed on that. And it's to our great credit and to the credit of the leaders of the Soviet Union and of the United States during the Cold War that we succeeded in not blowing each other up. But that's a rather -- while it's a spectacular aspiration in some ways, it is also a rather modest one. And we would like to think that we have gotten beyond that now and there are other issues where we can build, broaden and deepen our common ground between us, such as the Balkans, the Gulf, South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, European security, the Middle East, where the two presidents did some good work in the last day. So why don't we take the conversation in any direction that you want? QUESTION: Mr. Talbott, it's Nik Vlasov of Russian Information Agency, Novosti. You mentioned about a meeting that will take place today between Madeleine Albright and Mr. Ivanov. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Igor Ivanov. QUESTION: Yes, Igor Ivanov. Can you specify what they are going to talk about? And you mentioned about a National Missile Defense. Are they going to discuss only this subject? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Absolutely not. In fact, I don't think they will probably spend a lot of time on that. It will come up. But first of all, let me just characterize the meeting in advance, which is a little dangerous. It hasn't happened. But I remember attending a dinner that Secretary Albright gave for Foreign Minister Ivanov just after he became Foreign Minister. I'm looking at my colleagues to see if they can help me remember or reconstruct, but it was in the dining room of the residence that Secretary Albright had lived in when she was Ambassador to the UN, just a few blocks from here in the Waldorf Towers. And you all can fill in the blanks. You know when he became Foreign Minister. Since then, they have met many, many times on virtually every continent, except maybe Antarctica, and they have developed an extremely close, confident, both in personal and professional terms, solid relationship. And there is a lot of business, of course, that we are working on together at the UN. Tonight they will have several colleagues with them. Ambassador Lavrov will be there, Ambassador Holbrooke, Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov and myself. And I assume Ambassador Ushakov will be there. Do you know? STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: I'm not sure about that. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: But the ones that I have mentioned are for sure. And we'll have a couple of experts, Balkan experts, at the table. So they will certainly be talking about the forthcoming local elections in Kosovo, the forthcoming elections in Serbia, the tensions that have arisen -- the tensions and the dangers, I would say, that have arisen because of the pressure that the Belgrade regime has put on Montenegro. They will talk about the Iraqi sanctions regime for certain. On NMD and START, this, as I said earlier, is an issue that has been put into other channels but there are, I think, a couple points that will probably come up between the ministers as well. QUESTION: Yuri Crilchenko, TASS News Agency. Just one more question about the meeting of the presidents. Have they touched upon, in any way, an economic aspect, since, basing on the example of the recent disasters in Russia, it is quite evident that nothing good will come out in the future if Russia does not do a lot of work on its infrastructure and other things, if it doesn't improve social conditions in the nation. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: There was not a great deal of discussion about the economic agenda, although they have talked about that in the past. And at the end of the meeting between the two presidents, President Putin did express appreciation to President Clinton for American and this Administration's support for the Russian economy, and he mentioned some specific projects, including some that are going to be coming to fruition fairly soon. QUESTION: For instance? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: I think I'll leave you to your Russian sources on that. I said before you came in that I was going to -- I have already slightly crossed the line that I had set earlier. I'll let your side background on that. But there are some issues that we have been working on together which we are hoping will come about fairly soon. But the premise of your question is certainly one that has been kind of a theme in conversation on both sides. Remember that Bill Clinton, many, many, many, many years ago, 1992, won the Presidency of the United States on the slogan, "It's the economy, stupid." He was talking about our economy, but he believes very much that the health of an economy determines the health of a nation as a whole and the strength of that nation in the world market. And in an interdependent world, that's even more true. QUESTION: They are slightly different. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: I am aware that there are some differences. But there is also, I think, a fundamental point of similarity. Our President has studied Russia for a very long time. I have had a chance to observe his study of Russia for a very long time. And even when he was a graduate student, he read a great deal about what was then, of course, the Soviet economy. And he believes deep in his gut that the choice made by the Russian people, with all of the difficulties that attended it at the time and that have attended it since, was the right choice, the brave choice, and a choice that will be vindicated; namely, the choice to move away from a command economy to a market, and from a command political system to a democratic political system. He has always been acutely sensitive to the hardships, the setbacks that have occurred, but he feels that it is a matter of vital self-interest for the United States to do everything possible to support and assist that transformation because, if Russia succeeds, basically we'll have a better 21st century than if Russia doesn't. And when I say "we" I mean the American people. That's kind of the basis for his policy. QUESTION: Alex Guermanovich, Vedomosty. I wanted to know your opinion about Mr. Putin's general appearance at this summit and his speech especially, especially two aspects: first, the proposal that he made regarding the nuclear -- regarding the energy that can be produced from nuclear utilization; and, secondly, his desire to really strengthen the United Nations and let it play a much stronger role than it plays now and maybe bring it into solving the problems of different military conflicts and stuff like that. These two particular things. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: I am going to be honest with you, I hope in answering all questions, including when I can't give you an answer. I can't comment on his intervention or his presentation today because I was otherwise engaged. I was very preoccupied today, first with preparations for this presidential meeting, then with the meeting, and then with writing up the notes afterwards. So I have heard reference to it. I can tell you that his proposal -- I want to read it as soon as I can. I came straight, for example, here from a meeting with the Foreign Minister of another country who was very struck by the speech and who wants to learn more about the science behind the idea that President Putin put forward. So you can certainly say that it has generated a lot of curiosity and interest. I can't comment on the substance of it because I haven't had a chance even to read it, much less to get the opinion of our own experts. On the United Nations, though, I would say a few things. And I should have, by the way, in summarizing what President Clinton and President Putin talked about, stressed the United Nations. They did talk about the United Nations. They talked about the reorganization of the United Nations. They talked about a highly specific technical and financial issue which is called Scale of Assessments, which countries are assigned how much by way of both dues and also contributions to peacekeeping operations. And they talked more generally about the role of the United Nations in the future. On the one hand, President Clinton is a very firm believer in the importance of the United Nations' role to date and even greater importance that he hopes the United Nations will have in the future. And one reason for that is because Russia, as the Soviet Union, was a founding member, because Russia is a Permanent Member of the Security Council. On the other hand -- and we can come back to the specifics of his hopes. On the other hand, while the United Nations is a good instrument, it can be much better. And even if it were much better, it would not be a perfect instrument. It would not be an all-purpose solution to every problem on the face of the earth. And we have to be realistic about that. Among other things, the structure, or the governance structure of the United Nations, is such that there will be cases where the Security Council, and particularly the P-5, the Permanent Members of the Security Council, will not be able to agree on taking action on some issue where the United States or other member states of the United Nations will feel that either individual or collective action is required. All of us would hope that over time such cases would become increasingly the exception. We have had a few such cases during the life of this Administration, and those cases -- I'm speaking of course about Iraq and, most spectacularly, Kosovo and the military campaign in Kosovo. We have had reminders that there are going to be situations where the UN, to the extent possible, must play a role in trying to avert the crisis, must play a role in trying to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the crisis, must play a role in implementing the peacekeeping operation that goes into place after the use of military action but, for one reason or another, the United Nations will not be directly and actively involved in the use of force. And President Putin clearly hopes very much, as does President Clinton, that such cases will over time become rarer, but we have to deal with the world that we have right now. And the world that we have right now includes a country called Iraq that is misruled by a person named Saddam Hussein. The fact that there is not total agreement and total coordination between the United States and Russia in the Security Council on what to do about Saddam Hussein we feel is prolonging that crisis and is aggravating that danger. So I think it was a healthy thing that the two presidents were able to talk candidly about that and will do so again tonight. But there is no question what the long-range hope is here. Keep in mind that you've got something quite extraordinary in the American leadership at the moment. You have a President who is a committed internationalist, who has fought hard -- including with our own Congress -- for greater support for the United Nations, and you have a Secretary of State who spent four years as the American Ambassador up here. And President Clinton said that when he leaves office in January he wants to do everything he can to make sure that his successor, whoever it is, continues a policy of support for the UN. I will tell you that the judgment of the American people and the American Congress on this subject will depend in large measure on whether the UN is seen to be a forum in which the United States and Russia compete with each other, in which they disagree and come to loggerheads with each other, in which case support will diminish for the UN, or if it's an area where increasingly the United States and Russia work together. And that's our hope. QUESTION: May I ask my question in Russian? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Mozhno. QUESTION: (In Russian.) Izvestia Newspaper. I would like to ask, what do you think about -- because you pay attention all the time, stress all the time -- Ivanov -- Igor or Sergei -- so what is your opinion of the fact that Sergei Ivanov is playing an increasingly important role in foreign relations? And what do you think -- does this mean that the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is weakening? And what balance should be struck in this matter, in your opinion, and is such a balance possible between the Security Council, not the UN Security Council but our security council, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: First of all, let me say what a delicious irony it is for me to be able to take a very intelligent, provocative, and mischievous question, but nonetheless an excellent journalistic question, from a reporter representing a newspaper that once described me as being iz molodoi porosli TsRU, as I recall. So obviously maybe nothing has changed with me, but things have changed in the country I have spent a lot of time studying over the years. And by the way, I have a lot of respect for Izvestia and the way in which it has championed the principle of free press in the new Russia, the new Izvestia and the role it has played in the new Russia. And President Clinton never misses an opportunity in his conversations with President Putin to underscore the importance that the United States attaches to a healthy, genuinely free press as an instrumental -- really, as a requirement for civil society, for democracy, and for the success of Russia's transformation. And, of course, one indication of free press is that good reporters come up with tough questions. Now for your question. In one sense, if you know this American expression, "I'm not going to touch it with a ten-foot pole," which is to say how the Russian leadership and the Russian president and the Russian prime minister, who is of course the head of the government, decide to balance and divide up duties among different personalities and offices is entirely their business and not something that we should comment on even if we had a view and an opinion. I will tell you this, though. I think it has been a very good thing that there has been a variety of channels at a fairly high level operating between us. The relationship that has developed between the White House and the Kremlin you knew very well and we can talk about. And then of course early in the Clinton Administration former Foreign Minister Kozyrev suggested the creation of a new channel between the Russian Prime Minister, then Mr. Chernomyrdin, and our Vice President. And under the aegis of the Gore-Chernomyrdin Commission, a great deal of important business got done. A very solid relationship I've already described between Foreign Minister Ivanov and Secretary Albright. I feel lucky to have had a chance to develop and work with the relationship I have had with Deputy Foreign Minister Mamedov. But now, on top of that, in recent years we have also had almost on an institutionalized basis a relationship between our National Security Advisor and your approximate equivalent. Sandy Berger did some good business with Andrei Kokoshin when he was in that job. He even, for the few minutes that was available to him, did some good business with Vladimir Putin when he was in that job. But he now has had a number of occasions to work hard with Sergei Borisovich Ivanov. I sat in for some, though not all, of the conversations -- John, when were they? On Monday? No. Yes, Monday, Labor Day, a holiday, when we're not supposed to work, we worked. We had Sergei Borisovich Ivanov and his team here. My sense is that there is a high degree of coordination between the Foreign Ministry and the president's office. I would certainly like to think there is similar coordination on our side. It is a healthy thing in way when -- if you know the expression we have in Washington, inter- agency -- when when the American inter-agency can sit down with the Russian inter-agency so that you have people from the Ministry of Defense, from Minatom, from the intelligence services, from the Foreign Ministry, from the president's office, all on one side of the table and their American counterparts on the other, it saves a lot of time. It helps develop positions that are not only coordinated within the two governments but are easier to coordinate between the two governments because you don't have to then wait and see if something that you've heard from one agency is going to be approved by the other agency on the other side. So I think that the role that Sergei Borisovich Ivanov and Sandy Berger have played is quite significant. And, in fact, in the meeting today between President Putin and President Clinton, a couple of issues that came up were delegated to that channel, to Sandy and -- as we put it -- "his Ivanov," as opposed to Madeleine and "her Ivanov." That's the best I can do. But we'll continue to read what all of you write about -- what shall I say -- what's going on. I would never say kto kogo, but what's going on in your government. QUESTION: ONO, Japanese newspaper. My question is about a meeting of the two presidents. Was there any discussion about missile program of North Korea? Also, the -- (inaudible) -- of the Chairman of North Korea, he rejected after -- (inaudible) -- he rejected to take part in -- (inaudible) -- with any summit or United Nations. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: The answer to the latter question is no, there was no discussion between the two presidents about the incident that has resulted in the unwillingness of the DPRK delegation to come to New York. It did not come up. Now, in this meeting today between Mr. Putin and Mr. Clinton there was not much discussion of the North Korean missile issue. It was referred to kind of by reference and in passing. The reason is twofold. First, they spent a great deal of time on this in Okinawa. That was, I would say, one of the two or three principal topics in Okinawa. And we have worked it in other channels since then. A senior official of the State Department, a colleague of mine, Wendy Sherman, has been to Moscow. She has had discussions with a number of the appropriate people on the Russian side. And I think we kind of know the Russian view on what President Putin heard from Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang and we're working closely and cooperatively with Russia. The real question is: What is on the North Koreans' mind here? And I think we are just going to have to get more directly from the North Koreans through the appropriate channels at the appropriate levels. QUESTION: You have mentioned that there is only one more meeting between the Russian and American -- DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Scheduled. QUESTION: Scheduled, okay -- while Mr. Clinton is still in office. Can you say anything about the preliminary agenda of that next meeting? Or maybe they have touched upon some questions of their official meeting. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: A couple of the issues that were discussed today will definitely come up at the next meeting. One is the question of nonproliferation and Iran. This has been, frankly, a great difficulty for the relationship. Going back -- when was Helsinki -- '97? STATE DEPARTMENT OFFICIAL: March '97. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Certainly at the presidential level, since March '97, Helsinki, and I think at the vice presidential at the Gore- Chernomyrdin level. Do you understand what we're talking about? At the vice presidential-prime ministerial level it goes back longer than that. And until this issue is more satisfactorily resolved, it is going to be a burden on the relationship; it is going to be an obstacle to our ability to cooperate in areas like space, by which I mean both space exploration and cooperative space launch, commercial space launch, and in other areas. So you can be sure that that will be on the agenda for Brunei. I suspect the same could be said of the Balkans. We hope to do perhaps a bit more in the area of strategic stability, both further work on kind of laying the ground for START III and also laying the ground for what we hope will be productive discussions between the next President of the United States and President Putin on the relationship between strategic offense and strategic defense. QUESTION: And maybe you could say just a few word about the case of Edmond Pope. Has it been touched upon? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Yes. QUESTION: And the reason I am asking you this question, there have been some reports that President Clinton mentioned this case at the time when he was calling Mr. Putin in regard to the possible rescue mission on Kursk submarine. And some of my colleagues in Russia supposed that maybe Mr. Clinton set the release or something else with Mr. Pope as a precondition of the American assistance. Is that the right impression, and what was exactly said? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: You have asked two questions. The answer to the first question is categorically yes; the answer to the second question is categorically no. That is, President Clinton did raise the case of Edmond Pope again today, as he has before. He has raised it on a number of occasions. To be honest with you, I simply do not know whether it explicitly came up in the telephone call between the two of them that you referred to. What I can promise you without any ambiguity or reservation is that no linkage of the kind you are suggesting was every implied. Nothing could have been further from President Clinton's mind. We don't play cheap linkage games where human life is at stake. Our offer of assistance during the Kursk catastrophe was immediate; it was unconditional; it was heartfelt. And it would have been inconceivable that any connection of that kind would have been suggested. Nor do I have any reason to believe, having participated in a number of the conversations between the two presidents, that Mr. Putin ever inferred or suspected such a linkage. No evidence of that, either. So I think, as with some other reports that have come out today about the Pope matter, this is simply false. There have also been some reports today about possible trades -- Pope for X . Wrong. No discussion of that either. QUESTION: Maybe you can tell us for how long Mr. Clinton and Mr. Putin have been on the "Vladimir and Bill" terms. DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: You know, I was actually trying to think of that today. I was also trying to think when Mr. Putin went from "na vy" to "na ty". You might ask your side. I have the impression that maybe Okinawa. But I don't know your language as well as you do, but my impression is that sometimes it takes a while. It's like other transitions in Russia. It doesn't take place instantaneously. You know, you're "na vy" and then maybe you're a little bit "na ty" and then you're back to "na vy". My sense is it's now "na ty". As for "Vladimir and Bill," I think it sort of started in Okinawa. In Moscow it was a little bit more Mr. President/Mr. President. QUESTION: I'll probably ask the last question. What do you generally think about Putin as a foreign policy maker, as a person, especially still the way he acts here having these face-to-face discussions. Generally, very generally, what do you think about him playing the role -- DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Well, I might start with a personal observation. I have had the opportunity -- and I should say the honor -- of dealing with him in an official capacity since June of last year when he was the head of the Security Council. And I was visiting your country and your capital almost literally every week in connection with the joint -- and I want to stress this -- the joint US/Russian/EU/Finnish effort to end the war in Kosovo, an effort that was successful in no small measure because of the role of the Russian president, the Russian Government and, of course, Mr. Chernomyrdin. And it was in that context that I first met Mr. Putin. I saw him subsequently. I guess I saw him twice in that capacity; at least once when he was prime minister, once when he was acting president, and now I've seen him three times as president. My comments would be the following. He impresses his interlocutors on the American side with his obvious considerable intelligence, his straightforwardness, his confidence, his command of facts and his command of arguments -- arguments sometimes on behalf of positions with which we agree and, on other times, on behalf of positions with which we do not agree. But there is a kind of clear-cut quality to the way his mind works and the way he presents things that makes for, I think, economical, businesslike and, if the positions are close enough together, productive discussions. And I know that President Clinton values him as a partner. That's an overused word. It's a controversial word. It's the right word. Defining exactly what partnership means is something we are going to continue to do for the next several decades. Lots of American presidents and lots of Russian presidents are going to be involved in that. But I think the way in which the word partnership has been defined since it first popped up on the Russian side, which was still in the Soviet period, but the way in which it has been defined particularly by President Clinton working first with President Yeltsin and now with President Putin, points the process in the right direction. And that is, among other things, a credit to President Putin, the way he has started his job and his dealings with President Clinton. It is our sense, those of us who have both dealt with him and who have watched President Clinton deal with him, that on one issue there is no disagreement between us. And it's an important issue. And that is that Russia wants to be strong, Russia deserves to be strong, Russia should have a place in the world and in international and regional organizations that befits its greatness as a country, the greatness of its culture, the immense talent of its people, its huge size, its vast natural resources and its great potential. Russia is not going to achieve that aspiration unless and until it is able to plug into the global economy and really have a role in the whole phenomenon of globalization that is commensurate with its potential. In other words, to put the point in the negative, autarky -- that is, going it alone -- and confrontation with the rest of the world, looking at the world in Leninist-"kto kogo" terms, to use that expression again, is a disastrous course. It is one Russia has already been down in the past. It is one Russia rejected. We didn't reject it for Russia. We were against it, but Russia rejected it -- the Russian people and the Russian reformist leadership. And there is no question in our mind that President Putin firmly believes that there is only one right path forward for Russia, and that is to achieve strength through integration with the international community. It is our hope that as he defines strength, he will define -- and applies that definition to way in which he governs the country as its president -- he will do so in a way that doesn't only have an economic dimension but that also has a dimension of politics in the purest and most essential sense of the word. And that is the relationship between a government and its people, a relationship that is based on a sense of the government serving the people, a government working for the people, a government being in place by the choice of the people and the people having the freedom not only to choose their leaders but to argue a lot, including in the free press, about a government and its policies. So that is, I hope, a responsive answer. And I was looking as I came over here at the transcript of Secretary Albright's interview last night on Charlie Rose. I don't know if any of you saw it, but I think she describes Mr. Putin's presidency as a work in progress. And we have questions about that work in progress. We have seen things that concern us deeply. You know the depths of our concerns about Chechnya, which doesn't just have to do with Chechnya; it has to do with Russian democracy and the nature of Russian society and not just tolerance but protection of minority groups and their rights in Russia. We have concerns about the evolution of civil society which we have expressed from time to time. And I think going back to your question about Mr. Putin, he is the kind of leader with whom our leader feels that he can have a totally candid, no-holds-barred conversation, and a very economical conversation. There is not a lot of wasted time on protocol and euphemisms. There is a great expression in Russian which always struck me, by the way, as ungrammatical, but nazyvat' veshchi svoimi imenami, which I don't think is 100 percent grammatical, but you know your own language and you could tell me that. There is a sense that Mr. Putin is the kind of leader who calls things by their own name and doesn't object when his interlocutor or partner does the same. And that was very much the quality that the conversation today had. QUESTION: My question was on the meeting of the two presidents. Was there any discussion about Chechnya or the problem of international terrorism or Central Asia? DEPUTY SECRETARY TALBOTT: Yes, Chechnya came up. Terrorism came up. Central Asia came up. It comes up, I might say, every time they talk. And I would summarize it -- I can't go into detail about it because if these two gentlemen are going to be able to have the kind of open conversations that I have described, there has to be a high degree of diplomatic confidentiality. But I will tell you the essence of the issue between us. I spoke earlier about everybody's hope that the United States and Russia, to the greatest extent possible in the real world, two big countries with different interests, can be on the same side. We certainly have to be on the same side in the struggle against terrorism. No question about that. The Russian people have had bombs go off and explode buildings and kill people. So have we. We have been there. We know how horrible that is. We have seen what the -- we know how the horror reverberates in a democracy. At the same time, we hope very much that Russia will be able to define both the enemy and the means necessary to deal with the enemy -- the enemy being terrorism -- in a way that doesn't make enemies where there weren't enemies before. And the essence of our concern about Chechnya is that while Chechnya unmistakably had become a hotbed of criminality, banditry and terrorism and extremism, Islamic extremism -- there is no question about that -- that doesn't mean that all of the people in Chechnya are enemies of the Russian people. But they are going to become that if they suffer massive and indiscriminate violence at the hands of the Russian military authorities. So President Clinton's concern and the reason that he has made sure that Chechnya comes up in every single discussion that he has had with President Putin is not just with the innocent victims of indiscriminate force in Chechnya; it's also his concern with what this is doing to the Russian body politic as a whole. But we have actually had some quite concrete and serious and potentially useful collaborate discussions between what are called in Russian -- a wonderful phrase -- the competent organs, as well as other appropriate experts. We do have a common enemy here, but there has to be a high degree of commonality in the way we see that enemy and what we are prepared to do about it if we are going to work on it together. All right? Thank you very much. (###)