Title: "US-Russian Talks on Cooperation in Space, Energy Open." Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin held a day-long meeting of the joint
US-Russian Commission on Cooperation in Space and Energy. It was the first meeting of the commission since it was created during the Vancouver Summit between President Clinton and President Yeltsin. (930901)
Author: PITTS, DAVID (USIA STAFF WRITER)
U.S.-RUSSIAN TALKS ON COOPERATION IN SPACE, ENERGY OPEN (Expected to sign MTCR) (520) By David Pitts USIA Staff Writer Washington -- Vice President Al Gore and Russian Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin held a day-long meeting September 1 of the joint U.S.-Russian Commission on Cooperation in Space and Energy. It was the first meeting of the commission since it was created during the Vancouver Summit between President Clinton and Russian President Yeltsin.
The meetings were to continue September 2 and conclude with ceremonies during which agreements on energy and space issues were expected to be signed, including a Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR).
On August 31 a senior administration official said the MTCR agreement "will lay out in precise terms what Russia and the U.S. have agreed to do."
He said the agreement also would "provide the roadmap for Russian exports in the future." He called it "a very positive development" and an "ongoing effort to prevent proliferation of weapons."
The United States had been concerned about Russian exports of missile technology to India and some other countries. But the administration official said the agreement was not aimed at India in any way. "We understand Indian sensitivities on this subject," he noted.
Referring to a recent visit by senior U.S. officials to Russia, the administration official said the reason for the visit was "to convince Russia that upholding MTCR is the best way to prevent proliferation around the world."
Concerning the agreements to be signed on space and energy, the official said they herald "a new partnership that will be important to both countries in a new era." The significance of the agreement on commercial space exploration is that it will give Russia "access to important commercial markets," another administration official remarked.
On oil, this official said, "What we mainly expect is a discussion on what it will take to move forward private investment in Russia" and "to promote efficiency and energy conservation."
On nuclear power plant safety, the official said that a discussion is expected on what measures can be taken to reduce the danger of accidents. "We want to identify the most serious areas of risk" and also discuss the role of U.S. bilateral aid, he noted.
The administration officials also discussed the status of Cold War legislation -- some 60 laws and regulations on the books designed to restrict trade and investment with the former Soviet Union because of security considerations. Russia has frequently asked for the repeal of this legislation. The administration official said, "We have drafted legislation that would essentially repeal those laws and regulations." He explained that it is in various stages in Congress at this time.
The Russian prime minister is expected to meet with President Clinton later September 2 soon after the conclusion of commission's meetings. Before coming to Washington late August 31, Chernomyrdin met with representatives of the U.S. energy and aerospace industries in Texas and Florida. He is scheduled to leave Washington late September 2 for Moscow.