PRESIDENT BUSH: Good afternoon. President Putin and I have
concluded two hours of straightforward and productive meetings. We
good discussion of our views of Russian-American relations, and of the
changing world at the beginnings of this new century.
Our countries have common interests and we share responsibilities.
meeting with President Putin today is an important step in building a
constructive, respectful relationship with Russia -- a relationship that
potential to benefit not only our two countries, but also the world.
Russia is an important country, with vast potential. When Russia
United States work together in a constructive way, we can make the world
safer and more prosperous place. (...)
More than a decade after the Cold War ended it is time to move beyond
suspicion and towards straight talk; beyond mutually assured destruction
toward mutually earned respect. As we work together to address the
it is, not as it used to be, it is important that we not only talk differently,
must act differently.
We have great opportunities to cooperate on economic, commercial,
regional and security issues. President Putin and I have agreed to
extensive dialogue about a wide range of issues that we can constructively
address together. We also discussed the importance of sound investment
climate to improve Russia's future economic prosperity. (...)
And we've agreed to launch regular detailed and serious consultations on
nature of our security relationship. I said to President Putin that
we need a new
approach for a new era, an approach that protects both our peoples and
strengthens deterrence by exploring and developing our new attitudes towards
defenses and missile defenses. I've directed Secretary of State Powell
Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld to work with their Russian counterparts,
begin discussing a new security framework.
I have invited President Putin to Washington this fall. He accepted.
invited me to Russia, and I accepted. And I look forward to the visit.
We also agreed to continue our cooperation and work toward common
solutions on important regional issues, from the Balkans to Nagorno-Karabakh
to Afghanistan. And we discussed our common interest in developing
energy resources of the Caspian Basin in a way that benefits all the countries
Respectful relations require honesty. And we did discuss areas where
country has differences with Russia -- over Chechnya, and over media
relations. I also expressed my hope that Russia will develop constructive
relations with its neighbors, like Georgia, that are trying to find their
own way in
a challenging, but hopeful world.
This was a very good meeting. And I look forward to my next meeting
President Putin in July. I very much enjoyed our time together.
He's an honest,
straightforward man who loves his country. He loves his family.
We share a lot
of values. I view him as a remarkable leader. I believe his
leadership will serve
Russia well. Russia and America have the opportunity to accomplish
together; we should seize it. And today, we have begun. (...)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: First of all, I wanted to confirm everything that's
been said by President Bush when he characterized our meeting. I
add that I was counting on an open, frank dialogue, confidential dialogue.
in this regard, as they say in cases like this, reality was a lot bigger
expectations. Because this was not only a confidential discussion,
but all the
way to more than what you could expect from frankness, because President
Bush, as a person who has studied history, proposed a very global, wide-scale
approach and view to history. And it was very interesting and positive.
We're counting on a pragmatic relationship between Russia and the United
We compared our approaches in key areas. And, once again, we
established our common ground. I want to return now to what the President
said very recently -- that Russia and the United States are not enemies,
not threaten each other, and they could be fully good allies. And
account the fact that the United States and the Russian Federation, as
else, as no other country of the world, have accumulated huge amounts of
nuclear weapons, weapons of mass destruction, we bear a special responsibility
for maintaining the common peace and security in the world, for building
architecture of security in the world.
All of this presupposes a very close cooperation for strengthening security
the 21st century. And saying this, any unilateral actions can only
complicated various problems and issues.
One of the central topics of our discussion was the strengthening of strategic
stability. We exchanged our views on our approaches. It was
for me to hear how and what the President of the United States thinks,
hear directly from him.
In turn, naturally, I expressed the approaches of Russia in this sphere.
differences in approaches do exist and, naturally, in one short moment
impossible to overcome all of them. But I am convinced that ahead
of us we
have a constructive dialogue and the will to talk about these topics, to
to hear, to listen -- to listen and to hear each other. And to my
mind, this is
The President and I have agreed that we're going to tell our Ministers
Defense, Secretaries of Defense, Foreign Ministers, to continue in this
continue this discussion, without any pauses.
Of course, we discussed some very difficult regional issues -- the Near
and Afghanistan and the Balkans. I have to say that this discussion
the differences in our approaches in the very fundamental areas are much
than that which unites us. The differences in our positions, positions
of the two
countries, really are not of a fundamental nature, a global nature, something
which cannot be solved -- not at all. I think that it would be very
us to start forcing out issues and arguments, and not take into account
fundamental, main concepts and issues in our relationship, which are the
and the whole foundation of the relationship between the Russian Federation
and the United States of America.
The President and I are united in saying that the economic ties between
two countries do not correspond to the potential of our two countries.
government of the Russian Federation, businessmen of both countries and
U.S. administration of course can do a lot more to support the effectiveness
our economic ties. And the President expressed that we need an additional
impulse from our businessmen, that we will do everything possible to receive
very high-level business delegation of the United States to Russia; moreover,
especially if it is headed by one of the senior officials of the U.S. administration.
Here there are a lot of very specific issues. We talked about energy
resources; we talked about using the Caspian Basin. You know, very
new pipeline system is going to go into effect, which is going to be transporting
energy resources from the Caspian region through Novie Russkie. And
this is a
joint project of two companies, Russian and American companies. I'm
that this will not be the last such project.
I want to stress here that the issues that were discussed at Ljubljana
going to be the subject of our continuing dialogue. And we really,
in fact, did
agree that we're going to talk in Genoa, we're going to talk in Shanghai
APEC Conference. And I'm very grateful to the President of the United States
for inviting me to the United States. I would do it with great pleasure,
because he invited to have me over at his ranch. And I'm going to
in my own home, not just in Russia, but in my own home.
And the last. In the last few months, and at the very threshold of
meeting, there was a lot of discussion about the fact the U.S.-Russian
are overburdened by problems and issues that are somehow reaching a critical
stage. I think the very nature and the result of our discussion today
myself and the President of the United States will put an end to all of
rumors. We see very clearly a very prospect of our relationship in
future. And we are all geared up to work in the future constructively,
pragmatically, and to establish very good, predictable relationship. (...)
Q On the next summit in Prague, where, according to Lord Robertson,
enlargement will happen, and what is the Russian position on enlargement?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I went to my first NATO summit, and there appears
to be a uniform desire to expand NATO. This is certainly the position
country. But as I reminded the leaders today, that there is a process,
countries must work toward that process. I am impressed by the progress
being made in this country, and we will take that under consideration when
meet in Prague a year from this fall.
(...)Q A question to both of you, if I may. President
Putin, President Bush has
said that he's going to go forward with his missile defense plans basically
without your blessing. Are you unyielding in your opposition to his missile
defense plan? Is there anything you can do to stop it?
And to President Bush. Did President Putin ease your concern at all
the spread of nuclear technologies by Russia, and is this a man that Americans
PRESIDENT BUSH: Yes. Do you want to go first?
PRESIDENT PUTIN: Now, as far as the issue of antimissile defense,
official position of the Russian government is known. I don't think
we need to
spend time to yet again declare it. We proceed from the idea that
ABM Treaty is the cornerstone of the modern architecture of international
security. We proceed from the premise that there are elements which
with our partners in the United States.
When we hear about things like concerns of the future and about threats
from the future, we do agree that together, we have to sit down and have
good think about this. But we proceed from the idea that these concerns
threats are different kinds of things. Threats have to be defined.
We have to
look at where they come from and then make some decisions as to how we
have to counter them.
We feel that we can do it best together. Based upon today's dialogue,
come to the conclusion, and the impression, that we might have a very
constructive development here in this arena; at least the President of
States listened carefully. He listens to our arguments very carefully.
But I think
the specialists, as I have said before, have to sit down, have contact
the overall platform that we're going to work from, and try to find a way
together to solve these problems.
Now, as far as the issues of proliferation and nonproliferation, I have
that in our opinion, this is a topic that's very, very closely tied to
Treaty, because many other things are hooked onto this same string, and
threshold states, when it comes to the destruction of a previous accord,
only be happy and say, look, fantastic. Yesterday, we were threshold,
agreed -- nobody took any account of us; now, today, recognize us.
This is a
problem we're going to have to really think very hard about.
Can we trust Russia? I'm not going to answer that. I could
ask the very
PRESIDENT BUSH: I will answer the question. I looked the man
eye. I found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy.
We had a very
good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul; a man deeply
to his country and the best interests of his country. And I appreciated
much the frank dialogue.
There was no kind of diplomatic chit-chat, trying to throw each other off
balance. There was a straightforward dialogue. And that's the
beginning of a
very constructive relationship. I wouldn't have invited him to my
ranch if I didn't
trust him. (Laughter.)
Secondly, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to talk about a new
relationship, and we will continue these dialogues. The basis for
began with this simple premise: that Russia and the United States
a new relationship beyond that of the old Cold War mentality. The
said loud and clear that we're opponents and that we bring the peace through
ability for each of us to destroy each other.
Friends don't destroy each other. People who cooperate do not have
basis of peace on destruction. Our nations are confronted with new
the 21st century. Terror in the hands of what we call rogue nations
threat. I expressed my concern, and so did the President, very openly,
nations on his border and nations that can't stand America's freedoms
developing the capacity to hold each of us hostage. And he agreed.
I brought up concerns about Iran. And I'm hesitant to put words in
President's mouth, but he said he's concerned, as well -- I think that
categorizes your position -- and we'll work together to stop the spread
weapons of mass destruction. And I believe as we go down the road
be able to develop a constructive relationship as to how to use our technologies
and research and willingness to keep the peace, in a way that makes the
Q This is a question to both Presidents, if you allow.
Mr. Bush, you
partially answered -- you talked about issues of strategic security, you
about the future. In this connection, could you tell us anything
about what you
talked about in the expansion of NATO? Thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: -- to expand, so long as nations met their obligations
and fulfilled their -- met what's called the MAP process. I said
Poland, I felt like a secure border for Russia, a border with safe and
nations, is positive. And I expressed my government's position very
plainly. And the President, of course, had a reaction, which I'm
sure he'll give
you right now.
I thought he was going to give it to you right now. (Laughter.)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: Yes, I'm going to lay it out for you. I'm
going to lay
it out for you. Look, I'm going to read to you something which was
de-classified. Speaking for myself -- look this was printed a while
there's a document -- attached addendum documents which were secret.
declassified. It was top secret. Look, here it is. This is
a note of the Soviet
government from 1954, sent to the countries of NATO. Here's what
says: The leadership, holding to its inalienable policy and taking
into account all
the tensions, this Soviet government announces its intention to enter into
discussions with NATO countries about its participation in NATO, with the
North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
And this was the answer -- look, here's the answer: the Soviet government
proposed -- they were talking about the widening of the NATO pact and what
they're going to do about bringing the Soviet Union in. There is no need
stress the completely unrealistic nature of such a proposal from the Soviet
Union. That's the answer that NATO gave.
So what we're talking about here, you remember about a year ago I think
somebody asked a question about, what's your attitude, is it possible that
Russia is going to join in NATO or not. I said, why not? And
right away, Mrs.
Albright, former Secretary of State -- she was some place on a trip to
-- she said, look, we're not talking about this right now.
Look, you understand that our attitude toward NATO was not one toward
an enemy organization; of course not. And I'm very grateful to the
the United States that finally, from the territory of the United States,
words were heard. This is very important for us. We value this.
President of a great power says that he wants to see Russia as a partner,
maybe even as an ally, this is worth so much to us.
But if that's the case, then, look, we ask ourselves a question: Look,
this is a
military organization. Yes, it's military. They don't want
us there, they don't
want us there. It's moving towards our border. Yes, it's moving towards
So this is the foundation of all our concerns. Not just to bring
it in, or not
bring it in, or accept NATO or not accept NATO. Look, the positive
that we now have developed today with President Bush, this could be a
separate subject of discussion. Because you know Russia is cooperating
NATO, we have an agreement; we have association; we have various accords
and treaties -- and there's no need to fire up this whole situation.
Q Mr. President, did you offer President Putin any inducements
conversation to ease his opposition to a U.S. missile defense plan?
And, President Putin, to follow up on your comments just now, does the
simple fact of President Bush saying that Russia is not an enemy actually
your strategic or military planning?
PRESIDENT BUSH: I offered something: Logic. And a hopeful
tomorrow. I offered the opportunity, which the President is
going to seize, for
us, as leaders of great powers, to work together.
We have a unique opportunity to address the true threats of the 21st century
-- together. We have a great moment during our tenures to cast aside
suspicions and doubts that used to plague our nations. And I'm committed
I said in Poland, and I'll say it again: Russia is not the enemy
of the United
States. As a matter of fact, after our meeting today, I'm convinced
it can be a
strong partner and friend; more so than people could imagine.
The leader of Russia is working hard on behalf of his people to promote
prosperity and peace. And I believe our nations can work together
prosperity and peace not only within our respective countries, but around
world. I believe that. (...)
Q To both Presidents, if you allow. Getting back
to trade and economic
issues, ties between our two countries, how soon do you think we can expect
delegation of American businessmen to Moscow? And do you have any
on creating an intergovernmental commission of various agencies, which
stimulate economic ties between the United States and Russia?
PRESIDENT BUSH: Let me say one other area where the United States
agreement with Russia. We think Russia ought to be admitted into
the World Trade
Organization. And we'll work toward that end. The Russian President
expressed a desire to join the WTO, and I think it makes sense. I
think that will
help a lot. And there's a lot of areas in our business relationships.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: You know, I agree with the President in that to
overload our relationship by a variety of bureaucratic structures and
organizations, that's not always justified. The most important thing
is to create
favorable conditions for effective work by the business community.
the plans of President Bush with respect to his taxation policy and with
to other measures which he is planning, with respect to the economy of
From our part, we still have to do so much that would make Russia
attractive for foreign investors. Although among international investors,
Americans are in first place. Naturally, first and foremost, we have
to take care
of the issues of the energy problem in the world at large. American business
showing a great interest in this sphere.
But we also know that President Bush has plans in the atomic energy
field. Here, too, we think we've got a couple of things we could
about. We have a very fruitful area of cooperation we could work
in. We have
a number of various structures that are working very appropriately now
reprocessing uranium. We've got pretty good cooperation in space
seems to me that to a significant extent, that which exists now, it is
very successfully now. The Space Station, the International Space
the participation of the United States and Russia. We have so many
we'd like to work in. But when the businessmen come -- that depends,
course, on the U.S. side -- but we'll receive them at any time that's appropriate