Unofficial TranslationTRANSCRIPT OF PRESS BRIEFING
BY V. O. RAKHMANIN
Director of the Information and Press Department Of the RF Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Press Center of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia,
November 2, 1999
V. O. RAKHMANIN
Vechernyaya Moskva (Chinese-language edition) correspondent
You mentioned the possible deployment of American nuclear weapons on Hungarian territory. Do you mean that military rivalry between the United States and Russia is continuing to this day?
You are raising quite a big philosophical question. Mankind has departed from the bipolar world, it is in our common interests to move to a multi-polar world. As to any competition between two poles, evidently, this is a rudiment of the past. As to the problem of nuclear arms reductions, this is a very important problem and it is good that you raised it. This is a problem that gives us serious concern for a whole number of reasons. First of all, in connection with the negative vote in the U.S. Senate on the ratification of the comprehensive nuclear test ban treaty. That was a very serious and negative signal, and we took note of it. Secondly, the attempts by the United States to sidestep the ABM treaty. Such actions lead to a serious undermining of international stability and security. We are really concerned about that.
There are occasional reports that Russia intends to haggle with the United States over the ABM treaty. I categorically refute this. We are not bargaining over the ABM treaty. We are conducting consultations with the United States on the further reduction of strategic offensive arms within the framework of START-3 after the ratification of START-2. This is an urgent matter and it should be dealt with already now. At the same time we are hearing out the American evaluations, their worries about missile proliferation in the world. We believe that the 1972 Treaty, and the agreement between our presidents in Cologne was based on this, is the cornerstone of international security. We stand on this position and our position is supported in many countries of the world. We hear these concerns sounding both from Asia and Western Europe.
So, the question of nuclear arms reduction is a very important one. There is no need to speak with us on the subject of where else should nuclear weapons be deployed. We should conduct serious talks on how to cut nuclear armaments so that in the 21st century they would not pose such a lethal threat to mankind as at the close of the 20th century.
INFORMATION AND PRESS DEPARTMENT
MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF RUSSIA