10 December 2001

Transcript: Powell, Ivanov Remarks Following their Meeting in Moscow

(Dec. 10: terrorism, Afghanistan, missile defense, Chechnya) (2660)

U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell told reporters during a joint
press briefing with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov in Moscow
December 10 that the two had "a long discussion on Afghanistan and are
pleased with the developments to date and are pleased with the
cooperation that exists between the United States and Russia in the
situation in Afghanistan."

"We are very pleased with the state of our relationship right now"
Powell said, noting that "I think our improvement has been accelerated
by the events of September 11th." The U.S.-Russian relationship "is
strong and it will get stronger with each passing day."

He characterized his discussion with Russian President Vladimir Putin
as "another building block on the solid foundation that has been
developed over the last eleven months between President Bush and
President Putin."

Regarding arms control and the new strategic framework, Powell said
the two sides are "close to getting the strategic offensive numbers
[of missiles] in line with each other."

"It's a matter of me reporting back to President Bush with what I
heard today before being able to say anything more and make it
public," he said.

Calling the talks "very substantial and intensive," Ivanov said that
an "active political dialogue is under way" and that the two countries
are "expanding cooperation" in the international arena.

Ivanov spoke of formalizing the cuts in offensive weapons when
President Bush visits Russia in 2002, while Powell said the new
arrangement might take the form of a new treaty or might be codified
in a different way.

Both men acknowledged continuing disagreement on the subject of
missile defense and the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty.

Regarding Chechnya, Ivanov said Moscow is ready to continue
negotiation and is waiting for the response of the Chechen people.
Powell said he had told Putin that there is "continuing concern on the
part of many Americans" about atrocities that may have been committed
in the past in Chechnya.

Asked about the next step after Afghanistan in the campaign against
terrorism, Powell said President Bush has not yet made any decision
nor has he received any recommendations from his national security

Following is the State Department transcript of the briefing:

(begin transcript)

Office of the Spokesman
(Moscow, Russia)

December 10, 2001


The Kremlin
Moscow, Russia
December 10, 2001

Foreign Minister Ivanov: Dear ladies and gentlemen, very substantial
and intensive talks between the President of Russia, Mr. Putin, and
Secretary Powell took place. During these talks, key problems of
U.S.-Russian relations and acute topics of mutual relations were
discussed. This meeting was a logical development of the recent
negotiations during the official visit of President Putin to the U.S.
Moscow and Washington are satisfied that the positive impetus provide
to the U.S.-Russian relations during the summit providing some
results. The broadest evidence of this is the joint effort of our
countries in combating terrorism. An active political dialogue is
under way on the highest level in the first place and other levels,
too. We are expanding cooperation at the international arena. Positive
trends can be seen in the development of trade and economic relations.
As was stated during the talks of the President with the State
Secretary of the United States, both countries will do joint and
mutual efforts to stipulate, fix, and step up the positive trends. We
are convinced that this meets the interests of our countries and the
stability and security of the whole world.

Great attention was paid to the issue of strategic stability. Russia
proceeds from this option that without losing time, it is necessary to
formalize now the results that were achieved during the recent
Russian-U.S. summit in America. First of all, it is related to the
expressed intentions to make cuts in nuclear offensive weapons and the
relevant legal formalization of this arrangement, given adequate
control and transparency. And we believe it would be politically right
to set for ourselves the task to formalize this arrangement by the
forthcoming visit by the President of the United States to Russia,
which is scheduled for the middle of next year. We have also started
the issues related to the ABM Treaty of 1972. The positions of the
sides remain unchanged.

A lot of attention was paid to the issues of coordination of our
efforts in the field of combating terrorism. First of all, the joint
efforts were considered, given the leading role of the United Nations,
as regards the formation of new bodies of authority in Afghanistan
after the defeat of the Taliban, especially in the economic and
humanitarian fields. We have also considered the consideration that is
of great concern to us, that is the Middle East situation. Russia and
the U.S. are co-sponsors of the Middle East settlement and we have
close interaction in this regard and we will do our best to find a way
out of this dangerous crisis.

We have exchanged views on the possible future steps on the
development of a partnership between Russia and NATO. A few days ago
in Brussels we have discussed this issue in the Permanent Joint
Council and the opinion was expressed that there was a necessity to
elaborate a mechanism that would allow us to bring our partnership to
a higher level so that it works in the formula when Russia and the
NATO partners will form their group of twenty.

Our discussions also showed that the relations are developing and the
Secretary of State even noted that it is even hard to count the number
of times we have met this year, probably sixteen. We are sure there is
a necessity to push our relationship up to a higher partnership level
so that we enhance and make our cooperation stronger in all fields.
This is the political will of the leaders of our countries, and the
presidents of the United States and Russia will continue to work in
that direction.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mister Minister. I am very
pleased to be in Moscow for the first time as Secretary of State. I
fully agree with the report my colleague has given with respect to our
discussions today. I believe today represents once again another
building block on the solid foundation that has been developed over
the last eleven months between President Bush and President Putin. The
last thing President Putin said was for us to work even more closely
together in the future. We did have a long discussion on Afghanistan
and are pleased with the developments to date and are pleased with the
cooperation that exists between the United States and Russia in the
situation in Afghanistan.

As the Minister noted, we had a good discussion on the strategic
framework we are working on. We are close to getting the strategic
offensive numbers in line with each other. Both of our presidents have
charged us to finish this work as soon as possible, and to find ways
to formalize this agreement at lower levels of strategic offensive
numbers and to try to get the work concluded in time for the two
presidents when they meet in Moscow in the middle of next year and to
do it in a way that preserves the verification and transparency
procedures that exist in current agreements. As the Minister said, we
still have disagreements with regard to missile defense and the ABM
treaty and we will continue working on the whole strategic framework
both offensive and defense in the months ahead as instructed by our

We did cover other issues, including the situation in the Middle East,
which troubles us both. We will be doing everything we can in our
power to get both back to the negotiating table so we can get to a
cease-fire. I just might conclude by saying that we are very pleased
with the state of our relationship right now. I think our improvement
has been accelerated by the events of September 11th and since then we
have been working more closely than before September 11th and I expect
to be working even more closely with Minister Ivanov and his
colleagues and with other American cabinet officials and their
colleagues on the Russian side in the months ahead. Our relation is
strong and it will get stronger with each passing day. Thank you.

RICHARD BOUCHER:  We'll start with Mr. Tyler.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, I believe there was some expectation that you
would get the Russian offensive numbers when you came here today. Did
you get them? And if you didn't, could you describe why you didn't? I
wonder if we could ask both of you gentlemen, if this agreement, when
it does come, will be in the form of a treaty and whether it should
be, given that it has to outlive both the terms of Mr. Putin and
President Bush. And finally, to Mr. Ivanov, I wonder if you could
explain to us what it is the Russian side wants on the defensive
missile question? Do you want to have a discussion about each level of
American tests so you can evaluate its impact on the treaty or what's
the hang up, because our side won't tell us? (Laughter).

SECRETARY POWELL: I will start with the second part to your first
question. (Laughter). I encourage other members of the press to keep
their questions shorter. (Laughter). On your first question, both of
us recognize the need for a codification of the new levels we are
going to and we will be discussing the form that that might take. It
might be in the form of a treaty, or some other way of codifying it.
With respect to what that agreed new lower level will be, we are very
close. It's a matter of me reporting back to President Bush with what
I heard today before being able to say anything more and make it

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: I would like to join what the Secretary said.
I thought that the main thing was to set approximately the radical
cuts in the strategic offensive arms that we've arranged for. The
levels that are determined by the sides allow us to start some
practical work already. The main thing is that there is an
understanding expressed by both sides that these reductions need to be
embodied in some form of treaty formalization. During the negotiations
we will decide what form it will take. As regards the third question,
the Russian side has never put any prerequisites or preconditions as
regards the ABM treaty. We proceeded from the assumption that this
treaty is a useful one and that this needs to be preserved. This is
our position.

QUESTION: ORT correspondent. This question is related to the ABM
treaty, too. The first one to the Secretary of State: What are the
intentions of the US Administration regarding the ABM Treaty of 1972?
And second question to the Foreign Minister Ivanov: If the US
unilaterally withdraws, what would the Russian reaction be?

SECRETARY POWELL: The United States has held the position for some
years that we want to pursue the development of a limited missile
defense system, a missile defense system that would be directed
against irresponsible states that are developing missiles that can
deliver weapons of mass destruction. We are not developing a system
that would in any way undermines the deterrence capability of
[Russian] offensive nuclear forces. The problem is that as we move
forward with the development of such a system, the ABM Treaty
constrains our testing and development and our deployment of such
systems. So in due course, as we have said for a long period of time,
we have to find a way to get out of the constraints of the ABM Treaty.

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: In our forecasts, we're not excluding the
possibility that the US may be withdrawing from the ABM Treaty. First
of all, this was mentioned in statements, including official ones by
US officials, top officials. Secondly, the treaty itself, in Article
XV, provides for such an opportunity. Therefore in our programs for
ensuring national security we are forecasting such an option, too. At
the same time, we are proceeding from the fact that this treaty is the
key element of the entire treaty system of providing or ensuring
strategic stability in the world. And therefore our task will be
parallel to ensuring our own national security to promote the
strengthening of the control, over the cuts in weapons, as well as the
non-proliferation regime.

RICHARD BOUCHER:  Reuters, for a question.

QUESTION: I have two and a half questions. (Laughter). Foreign
Minister Ivanov --

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV:  Two for you and half for me.  (Laughter).

QUESTION: You can decide. Since the Kazantsev talks failed last month,
when do the Russians intend to resume negotiations with the Chechens?
And, for you, Secretary Powell, did you get a commitment from the
Russian side that alleged atrocities in Chechnya would be
investigated? And did you discuss the case of TV-6 and will President
Putin act to ensure that it is not closed?

FOREIGN MINISTER IVANOV: As for the first question, you are well aware
of the statement by the Russian President in this regard and you are
aware of the conditions that are set for the continuation of the
political dialogue. On these conditions, Moscow is ready to continue
negotiation and right now the ball is in the [court] of the Chechen

SECRETARY POWELL: We had a good exchange of views of Chechnya and the
Foreign Minister has just touched on that. In the course of the
discussion I indicated to President Putin that there was continuing
concern on the part of many Americans about atrocities that might have
been committed in the past. We have previously received assurances
that where alleged atrocities are known about, they will be
investigated. With respect to TV-6, President Putin and I did not
discuss it. Mr. Ivanov and I had an earlier discussion about media
freedom and the role that a free and independent media plays in a free
and democratic society.

QUESTION: First of all, does the US Administration plan to expand
their anti-terrorist operation to cover other countries of the region,
Iraq in particular, and a small addition to the previous question that
was addressed to the Secretary of State. You were a military service
man, and you were very high-ranking military man, and you also
participated in operations such as Desert Storm. But you said you were
very glad to come to Moscow as a diplomat. Does that mean that it is
easier for you to handle all the crises as a diplomat rather than as a
military [man]? (Laughter).

SECRETARY POWELL: With respect to your first question, the United
States and its partners are embarked on a campaign against terrorism
throughout the entire world. The first phase of that campaign was
directed against Usama bin Laden, al-Qaida, and the Taliban. As we get
into other phases of the operation, we need to look at those terrorist
organizations that exist and those regimes that support them, or those
regimes that are developing weapons of mass destruction that could be
used by terrorists or threaten other nations. President Bush has not
yet made any decision, nor has he received any recommendations from
his national security team as to targets we should go after, to what
targets we should direct our attention in the next phase of the
campaign. Some problems can be solved by diplomats. Other problems can
only be solved, unfortunately, by soldiers who are willing to put
their lives at risk. So a good foreign policy should be backed up by
good diplomats and good soldiers.

Thank you.

(end transcript)

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