State Department Noon Briefing


THURSDAY, DECEMBER 7, 2000 - 1:30 P.M.

Q: Can you give us a readout on the talks in Moscow, the arms talks?
The Russians are calling the concept of sanctions as unacceptable and
says the US should stay out of internal Russian affairs?

MR. REEKER: Yes, I have seen a number of reports coming out of that.
What I can tell you is that the meetings of experts have concluded.
The teams had full, frank and comprehensive discussions regarding
conventional arms sales, including sales to Iran. Because they will be
reporting the results of the discussions to their respective ministers
-- and that hasn't taken place yet obviously - I am just not in a
position to go into any great detail of the meetings. I just haven't
had the readouts.

We are going to continue discussions with the Russians on the issue
and range of arms transfers, including those to Iran. It is obviously
something that we watch very closely.

Q: You mean a series of talks like this? I mean, they're setting up
another meeting, or --

MR. REEKER: I just don't have any readout on what the next steps might
be. I know these talks are over. These are the expert-level talks that
were agreed to by Secretary Albright and Foreign Minister Ivanov when
they met in Vienna back on November 26th to address the mutual
concerns on this issue.

Q: Are you leading us to believe there is going to be a robust readout
when these folks brief back here?

MR. REEKER: I wouldn't necessarily count on that, George.

Q: I didn't think so.

MR. REEKER: But at this point I can't even give you a timid readout,
other than to say that I was told that the teams had full, frank and
comprehensive discussions. So for the robustness of it, we may have to
just wait and see.

Q: So both sides agree to keep talking about it? I mean, you at least
know that?

MR. REEKER: We certainly expect to continue discussions with the
Russians. As you know, we have a very broad and complex relationship
with the Russians, and this is one of the areas. And I just don't have
more details at this point.

(The briefing was concluded at 2:35 P.M.)