USIS Washington 

26 January 1999


(Program not directed against Russia, US officials say)  (5700)

Moscow -- The proposed US missile defense system is not directed
against Russia, and "the development program for this system is
strictly in compliance" with the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty (ABM),
say senior US officials.

At a background briefing in Moscow January 25, the officials, who did
not wish to be identified, emphasized that the whole thrust of the
proposed missile defense system is to counter missiles from countries
like North Korea and Iran.

They noted that just last year, North Korea tested a multi-stage
long-range missile which has the potential for directly threatening
the United States.

But the officials also said that there is as yet no decision to deploy
such a system. And they noted that research for an anti-missile
program "has been going on for several years now.

"There is nothing new in the announcement that we are spending
billions of dollars to develop a national missile defense," one senior
US official told reporters. "It got more attention this year because
the numbers are a little higher and the way it came out, but it is not
a new decision to develop a national missile defense because of a new

The American officials said that if the United States decides to
deploy such a system, it will try to modify the 1972 Anti-Ballistic
Missile (ABM) Treaty with Russia. "That way the ABM Treaty would
continue to serve its function: its stability function, its facility
of further reductions function," one of them said.

Following is the State Department transcript:

(begin transcript)

Office of the Spokesman

January 26, 1999

Moscow, Russia
January 25, 1999

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Okay, let me just say a few brief words about our
national missile defense program, and then we'll spend most of this
exercise dealing with your questions.

As you know, the US is developing a national missile defense system to
counter missiles from countries like North Korea and Iran. North Korea
tested a missile last year, a multi-stage missile, long-range missile,
which has the potential for directly threatening the United States.
Our program is not directed against Russia, and it's not capable of
countering -- of threatening Russia's strategic force.

The development program for this system is strictly in compliance with
the ABM Treaty. No decision has been made on deployment. No decision
will be made on deployment before the summer of the year 2000. We have
set aside money to preserve an option for deployment if a decision is
made. None of that money -- there's no deployment money for 1999. We
are still committed to the ABM Treaty. The ABM Treaty is important to
us. We understand how important the ABM Treaty is to the process of
reductions and to further steps in strategic force reductions. If
changes to the ABM Treaty are necessary for this program, we are
committed to work with Russia on necessary amendments.

So, with that, why don't we turn to your questions.

Q: Any chance that the United States would consider letting Russia
under the national defense umbrella, to also give them the same
anti-terrorist protection -- (inaudible)?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: That's a policy question that hasn't been
addressed yet. Frankly, we're at the stage right now where we're
discussing with the Russians our program. The architecture for our
program is still undetermined, as you know, so it's probably a little
premature to take that next step.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I can just say that we do cooperate on theater
missile defense. There is a TMD cooperation program. But how that
might evolve into national missile defense is something yet to be
looked into.

Q: Can you say anything about the story that ran in the press, i.e. my
newspaper, over the weekend about a possible tradeoff in which we
would offer the Russians the possibility of MIRVing their new missiles
in exchange for a second site for us -- (inaudible) -- ABM Treaty?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I wouldn't have a lot to say about that. I would
simply point out that the START II Treaty prohibits land-based MIRVs,
and we still are strongly supportive of the START II Treaty. We have
ratified it. We are looking forward to the Russians ratifying it. We
are looking forward for that going into force, and that being the
basis for START III negotiations. So, that would be my response on

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Let me just add one point to that. Obviously there
are a lot of people giving thought to things. That's what they're paid
to do. Thinking is good. But the Pentagon spokesman, I believe, made
very clear after that famous story that the proposal that was one
person's idea is not a Pentagon proposal.

Q: Has the Pentagon gone through a recent formal threat review in
terms of North Korea, Iran? Or is it still -- is a lot of the
assessment still based on, for example, the -- (inaudible) -- Report?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Probably the best way to answer is to tell you
there is a formal review going on every day in the Pentagon, threat
assessment of missiles. It's a continuous thing. All the intelligence
agencies are putting their heads together on a routine basis now to
try to characterize the threat. If your question is, have we published
any formal document on it recently, I'm not aware of any. But what we
have done is continue to track the development of rogue nations'
capabilities, and that is going on on a day-to-day basis.

Q: Now, there's a report due on China's capabilities in terms of TMD
for Asia. How does this play into any deployment decision in the

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The only report I know of that you're talking
about, so you can kind of clarify, is the Chinese said that if we
engage with the Japanese in any way on TMD, that they would feel
obligated to do the same kind of thing. I couldn't comment on it other
than just what you've seen in the newspapers, their comments.

Q: I know it's early in the trip, but what kind of reading have you
gotten on the outlook for START II thus far from the Foreign Minister?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I have nothing from the Foreign Minister. But from
the lower-level people in Russia, they have told us that they are
continuing to push for START II. There have been these setbacks, but
they are continuing to push for it.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: If I could just add to that. I think it's our view
that not only is START II in our interest, which is why we ratified
it, but an objective analysis of what's in Russia's interest would
lead them to conclude that it's in their interest based on simple
things like money and technical capabilities that will deteriorate
over time. We have a law in place that prohibits us from going below
6,000 unless the START II Treaty is ratified by the Russians.

And what I think their military has begun to make some progress on is
making their legislators understand that because of their technical
factors in terms of deterioration in some cases and finances, that if
they don't ratify START II, they're going to lock themselves into
lower levels than the United States, because their numbers will go
down. Until they can look at the START II Treaty in its national
interest calculation without respect to some other factor going on in
US-Russian relations and focus on those hard facts, they are not going
to make the political decision. And so, what we've been encouraged by
in the last few months is that more and more of their expert analysis
has recognized that. But whether that translates into a political
decision is obviously for a political body to make.

Q: Is the United States committed to getting an ABM amendment that
would permit the defense program that you're talking about if we're
going ahead with it, or are we still talking about the possibility of
supreme national interest repudiating the whole treaty?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: If we come to the conclusion that to deploy a
system that we need, we need to modify the ABM Treaty, our objective
would be to work with the Russians and conclude the necessary
amendments. That way the ABM Treaty would continue to serve its
function: its stability function, its facility of further reductions
function. That is the outcome that we wish. There has been no decision
made that, should one presume failure, then the next step would be to
use the withdrawal provision in the treaty. There's been no decision
made that that would be the next step.

Q: If I could follow just briefly. Given the START II ratification
process in the Duma, is there a concern that you could get changes to
the ABM Treaty that would then go unratified for the next century or

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: You mean getting the ABM modifications ratified?

Q:  Yes.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The question is, will the ABM be held hostage --
or START II held hostage to the --

Q: No, no. Considering how long it's taken them to do START II, you
know, would it be possible that the Duma could sit on the ABM changes
for a very long time?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The point here is that we think the ABM Treaty is
so important and we think national missile defense development is so
important that we're not going to fail, and that we're going to
negotiate an arrangement here. We can't presume that the Duma is going
to be unwilling to make a modification that Russia's government
decides is in its national interest. We have to deal with the Russians
as a serious interlocutor; and if their government makes a national
decision that, yes, it's better to have a modified ABM Treaty than
some other situation, they will eventually convince their Duma to go
along. As far as the time is concerned, I think that the secretary
pointed out to you yesterday that we're not talking about deploying a
system prior to the year 2005, and we're not going to make a decision
whether to deploy any earlier than a year from now. There's a lot of
time here if there's good will and good faith and determination on
both sides. It is so important both to keep the treaty, and if
necessary, to make the amendments, that we are going to do our best to
make it work. That's the only way we can operate.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Let me say one thing about it. No deployment
decision has been made, as we've already said. One of the reasons that
it's hard to grapple with this kind of discussion is that we don't
know what the architecture is yet for NMD. Until you know what that
architecture is, it's tough to know the things that you're going have
to come over potentially and negotiate. The good news is that we've
got some time. Our goal is to not surprise the Russians. Our goal is
to come over with enough time to sit down; logically walk them through
why we think having a missile defense against a rogue-nation threat is
important, not just for us, but in general; and then explain to them
what we see as the dilemma we're in. If there are requirements that
need to be met to modify the ABM Treaty, then start in plenty of time
to make this work.

Q: With all the ifs, you have passed the point where reinterpreting
the treaty, right, is an approach that's getting serious
consideration? I mean, holding it up to some tortured interpretation
that was tried by the Reaganauts with Star Wars --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I think the reinterpretation of the ABM Treaty is
dead and gone, as far as I know.

Q: (Inaudible) -- being at least candid, that you've got to change the

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  No, we're not at that point yet.

Q:  If you want to have -- okay --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The treaty allows for certain deployments at a
certain place.

Q:  You're not going to come back two years from now, and say --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  It really isn't an interceptor.

Q:  You're not going to do that game?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: You mean as the Reagan administration suggested,
the ABM Treaty didn't really stop anybody from spending on national
defense? No, we don't intend to do that.

Q: And I have a question for -- the day-to-day assessment of the North
Koreans, you're not only literally -- was this going on before the
political momentum began to change the treaty, or -- in other words,
what you were finding out fed into or perhaps even inspired this
political decision or is this a case of the military finding reason,
rationale, to rationalize a political decision that there's some new
threat out there?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I know what you're saying. And the answer is, yes,
we've been looking at the North Korean missile threat for a long time,
and other threats for a long time. Taepo Dong-1 no doubt caused us to
be a lot more concerned than we had been in the past.

But the truth of the matter is we were asked to evaluate the
requirement for a missile defense system against a rogue nation, an
unauthorized launch or an accidental launch. We were very careful when
we got that requirement not to yell "The sky is falling" for a couple
of reasons, one of which I will tell you is resource-based. It's cost
a lot of money to do this thing, and that money will no doubt come out
of a DOD opportunity to spend on other forces. Because of that, we are
going to be extremely modest about what we seek. To answer your
question, it's not us trying to justify a program by saying now
there's a threat that's overwhelming out there. This is kind of an
evolutionary thing.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Before we get to Sid's question, let me just point
out that we do believe that the multi-stage missile, long-range
missile the North Koreans tested could have the potential in the
future to directly threaten the US. When that missile test occurred,
we didn't automatically say, like some did, that there it is, we've
got to build now, end of story. But we looked at it and said to
ourselves, well, what does this mean? How quickly did they do this?
Was it more quickly than we expected? And what does this mean to the
future? And it is a factor, but it wasn't jumped on as a justification
for something already desired.

Q: What about Iran and Iraq? You just explained North Korea -- the
potential that they have a missile that potentially is a threat to the
United States. Does Iran or does Iraq have a missile that could
potentially -- meaning five years, ten years, a century from now --
threaten the United States, justify the $7 billion --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I think to answer that accurately and fully,
Barry, one has to get into information we can't provide to you.

Q:  No, but you just spoke about North Korea.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, that is information that had just developed
and that we have a way of talking about. I don't know what --
(inaudible) -- is going to say, but it may not be as specific.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: As you know, Iran also tested a missile last year,
a medium-range missile comparable to the -- (name inaudible). They
have publicly announced plans for a much longer range follow-on
missile, that potentially could threaten the United States.

Q: Just a quick question and then a follow up. (Off mike) -- the
assessment you just talked about.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, the assessment that's going on is not
something that we were specifically told; it's something that our
intel agencies would normally be looking at and have been looking at
for years. It's not something that just one day somebody called us up
and said, "You'd better start looking for missile capabilities out
there." It's something that the intel community has been doing for a
long time.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  He said they review it every day.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: There are analysts today, I promise you, that are
reviewing programs and looking at data to determine whether we've
missed something or whether there's something out there we should be
paying more attention to.

Q: And at some point, I guess presumably with these North Korean
tests, you said hey, we think it might be wise now to take another
look at theater missile defenses?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  At national missile defense.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The way I would frame it -- and there isn't a
difference between us, but it depends on how one chooses to answer
your question and understand how it will be used -- we always had a
program to develop national missile defense. That program has been
going on for several years now. There is nothing new in the
announcement that we are spending billions of dollars to develop a
national missile defense. It got more attention this year because the
numbers are a little higher and the way it came out, but it is not a
new decision to develop a national missile defense because of a new

What I think we are trying to candidly tell you is, as we review this
and look at this and consider whether - if the day comes that it's
both feasible and there's a need, some things have happened in the
last year or so that are making us look at this a little harder. But
we didn't develop a national missile defense program to the tune of $7
billion a year because of the --(name inaudible) - missile test. We're
looking at that stuff, and we recognize its potential. But this isn't
a new anti-missile development program, and it wasn't increased in
size, scope or nature because of the Taepo Dong --

Q: No, I understand. But the changes that might have to come in the
ABM Treaty, have you been considering that for several years as well?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I think we've always recognized that if you're
going to deploy a limited national missile defense with more than a
hundred interceptors, you're going to have to adjust the ABM Treaty.
We can read the treaty.
SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  The answer to his question is yes.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: There are two issues, as you know. We were
directed a long time ago to look at a requirement -- the guidance was
to look at a requirement based on threat and technical feasibility.
And the threat part of that has evolved over a number of years now.
Taechon-1 caused us much concerned about the threat part of it. The
technical feasibility is still TBD. Specifically, --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  To be determined.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: -- the integration -- specifically, the
integration part of the technical claims is problematic. And that's
the reason the architecture is still unknown right now.

Q: Are you not at all concerned that the Russian reaction to this
whole conversation will not be -- or will be to divert scarce
resources to build -- to expand their own missile defense?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I think we're concerned in that we would not want
that to be an impediment to us discussing with them what we plan on
doing potentially.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: But they have to make their own national decisions
as to how to allocate their scarce resources. To the extent that we
and the Russians can have a common understanding of the threats that
are out there, both to Russia and to the United States, and can work
together on, if necessary, amendments to the treaty based on that
common understanding, that is a good thing.

Q:  So, if they were to do a mirror program, that would be fine? 

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, we would presumably negotiate any
amendments, if we get to that -- and let me emphasize we don't have
any amendments -- but if we got to that, with the understanding that
they could use these amendments to their -- we wouldn't be going into
it, saying "Okay, we're going to make these adjustments, and only
we're going to build." We would have to make the decision that it
would be good for us, the United States, if we exploit whatever modest
adjustments are made and recognize that they may as well. Now, whether
they do so or not is up to them.

Q: If I understood from what was said just in the last day or two,
that the adjustments that you would seek would be based on an
assessment of what you need to deal with threat A, B and C. Right?


Q: So, how would that have equal applications for Russia? If you have
the national right, presumably, to decide that in order to cope with
what we think North Korea is up to, we need to do X, Y and Z to the
treaty and have these particular --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  Right, but we have every --

Q:  Why would the Russians say, "Thanks a lot.  We agree"?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: First of all, that wasn't the question. It's
completely unrelated to my answer. But to answer your question,
whatever amendments we make to this treaty -- and we haven't decided
on any -- would be mutual, would be cooperative.

Q:  But they'd be specific to a threat.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Right. And if we didn't think the threat
materialized, we have made clear we're not going to deploy. Threat and
feasibility are the two factors. If the Russians don't think the
threat materialized, then they wouldn't deploy. But let's start from
the premise they already have a hundred interceptors and we have zero,
so any decision they make may take into account that they already have
a hundred interceptors around Moscow.

Q:  But you still have the option to go back and put up -- 

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  A hundred as well, right.

Q: I mean, to keep nailing -- there was a US decision to voluntarily

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: We can get into -- others would like to talk. But
it is a fact that if they decide they want to have a newer -- a
capability against these new threats, they're starting from 100
interceptors ahead of us. That's all I'm saying.

Q: You already have in place a negotiated but unratified amendment to
the treaty which attempts to define the demarcation agreement --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Between theater defenses and strategic defenses.

Q: Right. Between those you're allowed to defend against and those you
aren't allowed to defend against, basically.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, those that the ABM Treaty covers and those
the ABM Treaty doesn't cover.

Q: And now you're talking about the possibility of additional
amendments which would do what? We don't know? Allow mobile systems?
Or allow more interceptors? Or change the demarcation agreement, or
what? What -- (inaudible) -- are you talking about?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, as he said, we haven't decided. But the
concept is that the treaty today allows us 100 interceptors at Grand
Forks. One possibility is to attempt to perform the national missile
defense mission within that constraint, and that's one thing that's
being looked at. But another thing that's being looked at is, suppose
you relaxed that constraint in one way or another, what else could you
do, what would be the tradeoffs, and so forth. That's the thought
process that's going to go forward before we make any decision.

Q: So, you still don't have a specific answer to that question yet
because you haven't decided --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  You don't have the architecture to -- exactly.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: That's right. You'd still have a very constrained
environment. You'd only be allowing a very small amount of defense,
but it may be different constraints than the ones that are there now.

Q: Can you tell us anything about the Moscow-based system? How many
interceptors does it have? Does it really work after all these years?
What do we know about it today?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: They're allowed to have 100 interceptors and a
certain radar complex around their national capital. They've had a
system within those confines since the early '70s, and it's still
there today.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: And we appreciate any new information you can tell
us on that.

Q:  I mean, does it work as far as you know?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: We have no reason to believe it wouldn't work if
called upon.

Q: Just to be clear in my own mind, could North Korea then have a
strategic capability to put nuclear weapons on US soil by the year
2005 then?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: We won't exclude it. At this point, from the test
results that they had, it's impossible to be conclusive about that.
But you can't exclude that possibility.

Q: Would any other rogue nation have -- could any other rogue nation
have that same capability by the year 2005 --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Doug, before we go too far off this, there's a
difference between having a missile that is theoretically capable --
no, but maybe your colleagues don't, and I don't want anyone to rush
out and "North Koreans to Have Nuclear Missile by the Year 2005" --
between having a missile that has the range and payload capability to
theoretically deliver a payload of nuclear size and weight to a given
target and the ability to have developed nuclear weapons to the point
that you can put them on the top of a missile and have any confidence
that they will explode when they land.

On the nuclear side of this, we are working through the Agreed
Framework to ensure that they don't have the nuclear weapons material
and capability to have a program in that area. We need to distinguish
between the weight that a missile can launch something and whether we
think by the year 2005 they'll have nuclear weapons tailored to
explode after going through -- and I don't think we've made that
decision. You can't rule anything out in life, but by saying not
exclude --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  We have not made that decision.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: But also to say that North Korea could have a
missile that would cause concern and cause you to think about missile
defense is not the same as saying they're going to have nuclear
weapons. There are other -- they could arm such a missile in other
ways that would cause you to think about defense against it.

Q: Well, you develop a missile with a capability that can launch a
certain amount of payload, a certain distance.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: We were just reacting to the word nuclear in your

Q: So, the other countries besides North Korea -- for example, Iraq or
particularly Iran -- the capability then to launch a certain amount of
weight that would carry a nuclear weapon the distance to the United
States is undetermined at this point. Am I right? Or have I made a --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: They have developmental programs. We don't know
the limit on those programs yet.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: But also, as I said once before, when they
announced the test of their medium-range missile last summer, they
said that they had further, longer-range missiles to follow on.

Q: Yes, this is a question that perhaps should be put to the Russians
that -- (inaudible). Did you hear anything this morning that made you
better understand what exactly the Russians object to in this concept
of developing national missile defense with the objectives that you
have outlined? And why they, as far as we know, are opposed to it?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: In general terms, what they're concerned about is
the loss of their strategic deterrence capability. And this program
does not threaten their strategic deterrence capability.

Q:  Why does it not threaten their strategic deterrence capability?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Because they'll still have 3,500 warheads under
SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  Because they've got a lot of nukes.

Q:  So, it's just a question of numbers --


Q:  But it does diminish to some extent the strategic deterrence --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  Depending on how it works out --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Our point is that they still have 3,500 warheads,
and we're talking about a limited national missile defense.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: You can't quantify, as you know, deterrence; and
it doesn't start at 100 percent and go to 96 percent and 93 percent.
We feel that the program we're proposing for a rogue-nation missile
defense capability won't impact their strategic deterrence. Now, if I
were on the other side of that -- and that's a question you should ask
the Russians, of course -- they may feel differently, and we'll have
to convince them of that.

Q: Does that mean that to some extent the Russians still see you as a
potential adversary?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, I think that's the reason they're keeping
around their advanced number of nuclear weapons. If they prefer to
maintain strategic stability and global stability, that's one of the
ways that they would propose doing it, as would we.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: The Russian strategic force, even after START III,
is two orders of magnitude bigger than anything from North Korea or
Iran. So it should be possible to build a defense that deals with one
problem and not the other.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Remember when the ABM Treaty was signed in 1972,
the levels both sides were at were in the very low numbers of
thousands, much like the levels we're trying to get back to with START
III. So, the concept of having a limited defense, two sites, in 1972
was married to numbers -- I don't know exactly, but 1,500 or so of
strategic forces. What happened between 1972 and 1998 is both sides
built up its strategic forces, and now we're trying to bring them back
down. And if we amended the treaty hypothetically to two sites, we'd
get back to the offense-defense relationship that existed in 1972.

Q:  (inaudible)

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: That's one of the things that one might envisage,
maybe having two sites. Tom asked about it in his question.

Q: No, but you have the right to have a site there. Why don't you act
on it?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  We may.  That's --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  '74 made it impossible --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: We went back to one, and now we're talking about
the possibility of modest adjustments.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Let's take one more, because we all have places to

Q: Just to go back a little bit in history, in 1972, when they voted
on the treaty, I think there were one or two senators that voted
against it. One of them was Bill Buckley's brother James, and he said

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  I've read about him.

Q: -- "the threat of rogue nations is the reason why we should vote
against this." So, what has changed from then to now? Is it just the
technology, or why wasn't that a real concern then if it is now?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: In 1972 there was zero concern of North Korean
ICBMs. I can just tell you that was not before in people's field of
vision at that time.

Q: No, but there were many other problems. This is now -- it's only
North Korea?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: Well, since 1972 and 1998, as many of you know who
cover the -- (deleted) -- who ask me every day about some country's
missile capability, who have watched us use military force against
Iraq's medium-range missile capability, who have asked me every day
about many other countries' medium-range missile capabilities, those
weren't in existence in 1972. So in the past 25 years, unfortunately,
many countries in the world are developing a missile capability, which
we're doing a lot to try to stop through interdiction, through
sanctions, through treaties, and in Iraq's case through the use of
force. But as a responsible country, we also need to take into account
the possibility than these four-plus, or all the other tools we're
going to use, may not work, and ten years from now some of these
things that we have concern about will materialize. That's what this
is about.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  Let's just do one more, and then we all can go.

Q: Why are you optimistic that there might be some compromise near on
the CFE treaty?

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I'm not sure what the basis of your question is. I
mean, there is a common interest of the United States and Russia to,
in the reasonably near future, come to an agreement of all 30 CFE
parties on the basic points, the basic elements, of an adapted CFE
treaty that fits the new situation in Europe. That's something that
both Russia and the United States want to see. There are 28 other
parties -- they're not here right now, so I would not encourage
optimism that in the next few days we're going to be able to make a
big jump in that direction. This is something that needs to be done at
30, not at two. It's an important subject to us, it's an important
subject to the Russians. We're talking about it. We're talking about
what the problems are and what solutions might look like, but the
negotiations on this need to be done at 30 and not at two.

Q: And when you're dealing with Poland, Hungary and the Czech
Republic, what sort of limits are the Russians looking for? What's --

SENIOR US OFFICIAL: I really can't in this format talk about that,
about the details of the negotiations.

SENIOR US OFFICIAL:  Thank you all for coming.

(end transcript)