THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release July 10, 1994
PRESS CONFERENCE BY PRESIDENT CLINTON
AND RUSSIAN PRESIDENT YELTSIN
3:40 P.M. (L)
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. As you know, this
was a very important day in which President Yeltsin joined us as
a full partner in the G-8 for political discussions. And we
followed that meeting with a bilateral meeting, continuing our
good personal relationship which made some significant progress.
I'd like to make a few comments on the G-8 and on
our bilateral meeting, and then have President Yeltsin make any
statement he'd like to make. And, of course, we'll take some
First of all, today's statement read by Chairman
Berlusconi on behalf of all eight of us makes it clear that we
share fundamental foreign policy goals: support for democracy,
free markets, building new security relationships. On these
matters, we spoke as one. If you read each of the items in that
statement, I think it is remarkable that these eight countries
have together agreed on these things.
In the wake of the death of Kim Il Sung, we also
expressed our strong commitment to continuing talks with North
Korea and our support for the holding of the summit which had
previously been scheduled between leaders of North and South
Korea. We also strongly agreed on the importance of pushing
ahead with a resolution of the crisis in Bosnia.
Finally, the United States and Russia joined all of
the nations in expressing regret over the death of the Italian
sailors at the hands of terrorists in Algeria, and reaffirmed our
opposition to terrorism anywhere, anytime.
With regard to my meeting with President Yeltsin,
let me just mention one or two issues. First of all, there has
been a promising development in the Baltics. After my very good
discussion with the President of Estonia, Mr. Meri, I passed on
his ideas to President Yeltsin today in effort to break the
impasse between the two nations over troop withdrawals.
I believe the differences between the two countries
have been narrowed and that an agreement can be reached in the
near future so that troops would be able to withdraw by the end
of August. But now that is a matter to be resolved between
President Yeltsin and President Meri, which President Yeltsin has
promised to give his attention and for which I am very grateful.
When the Russian troops withdraw from the Baltics
and Germany, it will end the bitter legacy of the second world
war. I want to say publicly here that none of this could have
been accomplished without the emergence of a democratic Russia
and its democratic president. And I thank President Yeltsin for
We talked about Ukraine, its importance to Russia,
to the United States, to the future. And we agreed on continuing
to work on the issues that we all care about, including economic
reform and continuing to implement the agreement on
denuclearization which has so far been implemented quite
faithfully. We talked about our security relationship, and I
must say again how pleased I am that Russia has joined the
Partnership for Peace.
And finally, I'd like to congratulate President
Yeltsin on the remarkable, steadfast and success of his economic
reform efforts. Inflation is down. The Russian deficit is now a
smaller percentage of annual income than that of some other
European countries. Over the half the workers are now in the
private sector. There's a lot to be done, and the rest of us
have our responsibilities, as well. And we talked a little bit
about that and what the United States could do to increase trade
Looking ahead, I have invited President Yeltsin to
come to Washington to hold a summit with me and to have a state
visit on September 27th and 28th, and he has accepted. I'm
confident that would give us a chance to continue the progress we
are making and the friendship we are developing.
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: Thank you, Mr. President Bill
Clinton, for the kind words that you said toward Russia and its
I, of course, am very satisfied by the summit, the
political 8, which has taken place today. I think that this, of
course, is just a beginning. But as I said, the Russian Bear is
not going to try to break his way through an open door, and we
are not going to force ourselves into the full G-8 until it is
deserved. When our economic system, our economic situation, will
become coordinated with the economic systems of the other seven
countries, then it will be natural and then Russia will enter as
a full-fledged member of the eight then.
Nonetheless, I am grateful to the chairman -- Prime
Minister of Italy, Mr. Berlusconi -- and to all the heads of the
states of the seven for the attention which they showed towards
Russia -- the welcome, including yesterday's statement by the
chairman and today's statement on political issues.
Together, today, we held a discussion on political,
international issues around the world, and we found common
understanding which says a lot about the fact that we can find
this mutual understanding and, in realistic terms, cooperate and
help in the strengthening of peace on this planet.
I believe that this meeting and -- yesterday's, I
mean -- and today's is yet another large step towards the
security of Europe, for a much more economically stable
situation, and an order that, really, the world can live in peace
and in friendship. And we should all help in this endeavor, and
I think this meeting is yet another large step to full security
of peace on Earth.
In developing my thoughts, I wanted to add that this
meeting was a meeting, bilateral meeting, that we had with the
President of the United States, Bill Clinton. But our meetings
are always held in a very dynamic and interesting way, we get
very specific. We don't have a lot of philosophizing there now.
Say if it's 1:15 p.m., 1:20 p.m., we get in and start discussing
about 30, 35 different issues, at least, on one side, on the
other side. And we find -- of necessity, we sit down and we find
some kind of compromise solution to find an answer.
And I have to say, yet again, this time we were able
to summarize after the last summit meeting, where Bill came to
Russia, we were able to summarize all the things that happened.
Many, many things took place, very positive things, and we
expressed satisfaction to the fact of how our relationship is
developing and growing -- our partnership, our friendship, our
At the same time, of course, as people who are
sincere, both of us could not but touch upon some of the issues
which, unfortunately, are yet unresolved, which still we could
not have found answers to up until now. This has to do with
certain discrimination toward Russia in trade, for example.
This time at the 8 Russia did not ask for money. It
said -- I said -- that you -- let's all together take certain
measures and steps and decisions in your individual countries,
included among them the United States of America, so that Russia
on an equal basis, equal basis, could trade with everybody.
We're not asking for any preferential conditions, we're not
asking for any special circumstances for us alone. No. We're
saying let's give us equal rights, get rid finally, once and for
all, of this red jacket. Take that red jacket from the President
of Russia -- which I don't wear now for three years; I've taken
that red, besmirched jacket off of myself. You understand what
I'm talking about, right? You understand.
You earned the right of asking the first question.
Q I said, you're not going to like my first
question. Will you have all the Russian troops out of the
Baltics by August 31?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: No. I -- nice question. I like
the question, because I can say no. (Laughter.) We took out of
Lithuania -- we removed 31st of August with drumbeat, we're going
to take under his arms and take that last soldier from Latvia.
Now, Estonia, somewhat more difficult relationship since there in
Estonia, there are very crude violations of human rights, vis a
vis Russian-speaking population, especially toward military
Bill Clinton, when he was there in Riga and he met
with a large group of people, about 40,000 people, and the heads
of three Baltic States, he expressed his point of view that you
have to maintain and protect human rights. And I think that
after his saying so, the President of Estonia will begin to
listen. I promised Bill that I personally will meet with him,
with the President of Estonia. We're going to discuss these
issues, and after, we're going to try to find a solution to this
Q Boris Nikolayevich, you said that at the 7, now
7 -- where you're not with the political 8 -- but with the 7, you
talked about removing discriminatory measures. Do you feel that
this is a task that is a timely task vis-a-vis relations with the
United States? In other words, Russian high technology had
access to the marketplace included among the United States
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: I have to say that we signed
with the European Union at Corfu, we signed an agreement in
Greece where all the discriminatory measures are removed from
Russia. Now, as far as other countries are concerned, some of
those provisions remain.
Now, lets talk about COCOM, export of high
technologies, et cetera, except for weapons. Today Mr. President
of the United States at the 8, and then later when we talked
together, he stated that when I come to the United States with an
official visit on the 27th and 28th of September, he's going to
make an official statement that these limitations are being
But in the new post-COCOM organization, our
specialists are going to participate in the development of list
of all those materials and technologies which are not going to be
allowed for export in the whole world, and that will also have to
do with Russia. In other words, we're going to be on an equal
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Just a minute -- I'd like to
just clarify and support what President Yeltsin said on that and
make a couple of points.
First of all, the United States is committed to
joint economic activities that advance Russia's interests. The
most significant one that's been ratified recently is the
overwhelming support in the United States Congress for the space
station program, which now is a partnership between Russia,
Europe, Japan and Canada.
Secondly, what happened when the COCOM was even out
of existence is a lot of the countries' individual laws were
still in existence. So we need a new order to replace COCOM.
And what I said was, as he said, was we want Russia to be a part
of that, so that there will be no discrimination in trade between
Russia and other countries, except insofar as we all accept
restraints that tend to limit the proliferation of weapons of
The third thing I want to say is, I was glad to see
Europe sign that agreement with Russia at Corfu. But if you look
at the facts of who's done what kind of business, I think you'll
see that the Americans stand up very well against the Europeans
Q President Yeltsin, the Americans are looking to
Russia for help on persuading the Serbs to agree to the new map
for Bosnia. Will you provide the help? I know, of course,
Russia joined in the statement, but how aggressive will you be
about that? And I'm going to throw in a quick second question.
What is the state of Russian trade with terrorist-supporting
countries. The communique today, of course, took a strong stand
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: As far as the map is concerned,
the Bosnian map, Croatia, and between Serbs and the Muslims, 51-
49, the Contact Group has developed these proposals. The
ministers of foreign affairs, including Minister Kozyrev of
Russia, have agreed with this proposal, and that's why we are
going to act -- and I personally, very decisively, as much
character as we have in our bodies.
Now, as far as trade is concerned from the countries
where terrorism stems from, we're going to attempt to limit --
we're moving in the direction of limiting trade with those
Q What do you feel is the principal difference
between the Tokyo Summit last time and this one? And how do you
feel the next meeting of the 7, or maybe we can call it the 8,
from the Naples session -- how is the next one going to differ?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: Well, I will say that this one
differs significantly from the Munich and the Tokyo Summit very
significantly. Russia, for all practical purposes, has been
accepted into the world community. It has been recognized as a
democratic state. For us, this is the most important.
Of course, it hurts a little bit that that amount of
money which we're calling support back in Tokyo and we weren't
even able to get half of it -- but in the final analysis, I said
that today the most important thing is not to ask money, but that
we be accepted and recognized as equal. And then we, together,
are going to go out and earn.
Now, as far as from the perspective of the Halifax
meeting next year -- I received an invitation today from Prime
Minister of Canada, and he said that from the point of view of
the 8, this is going to be a much more official and stronger,
more cohesive meeting.
MS. MYERS: Last question.
Q Did you discuss at all with the other leaders
of the 8 the possibility that the United States might take
military action in Haiti at some point? And do you still
maintain that you would discuss such action with the United
States Congress, or can you foresee a situation, sir, in which
you would judge American lives to be in danger and, therefore,
feel that you could move immediately?
PRESIDENT CLINTON: The answer to your question is
that I did not discuss that with the 8. The thing that I
appreciated was that they were all very vigorous in saying that
the military leaders should keep their commitment and should
leave, and that we should restore democracy to Haiti, and that
they supported that. That was the full extent of the
Q Maybe indirectly, maybe this is tied to today's
meeting. How do you assess yourself as President -- the results
of foreign policy of Russia as a President?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: I'm learning gradually, and the
more I learn it the better it goes. Thank you very kindly.
END4:02 P.M. (L)