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Powell Remarks With Russian President Putin

Opening Remarks With Russian President Vladimir Putin

Secretary Colin L. Powell Green Room, The Kremlin Residence Moscow, Russia January 26, 2004

PRESIDENT PUTIN: Good afternoon, dear colleagues. Dear Mr. Secretary of State, I am glad to see you again, to have an opportunity to exchange with you views on both bilateral and international issues. Since our recent summit in Camp David, we have been marking positive shifts in the development of our bilateral relations. The list of our urges that we have drawn up together with President Bush is under constant control of our experts and we are moving forward in implementing these priorities. We re also making progress in the area of strategic stability, as well as in cooperation on such sensitive issues as space. By the way, my colleagues and I would like to congratulate you on your achievements in the exploration of Mars. We also acquainted ourselves with great interest with plans proposed by President Bush in terms of exploration of the moon and Mars, and there is much that we could explore together in this area. We have also positive development in the area of trade and economic ties. Our interaction in the area of combating terrorism is also strengthening. And we also work rather closely together in Afghanistan. The discussion on the settlement in Iraq continues, as well. Just like you do, we believe that the United Nations should be returning to Iraq. You know that we held in Moscow recently negotiations with representatives of the Provisional Government Authority in Iraq. And we consider the very fact of these meetings as a moral and political support for this Authority. We are also discussing the issue of debt relief for Iraq. We have agreed that we will be discussing this problem within the framework of the Paris Club. On the whole, I would like to say that we in Russia consider Russian-American relations the development of Russian-American relations as an achievement, both in terms of the foreign policy of Russia and the actions of your Administration. That is why again, we are very pleased to see you here and we are confident that your visit will be useful.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much, Mr. President. I bring you greetings from President Bush, and he also believes that we have made great progress in our relations over the past three years. And he is also very interested in the follow-up work of the checklist that we use, that came out of the Camp David meeting. And Minister Ivanov and I have had a chance to discuss progress on that checklist. I thank you for I m pleased with the level of cooperation that exists as we discuss issues such as Iraq, such as Afghanistan, and we ve had good conversations so far this morning on Georgia and Moldova, and other areas of mutual interest. I m also pleased at the developments that are on the horizon, with respect to continued cooperation in space. I m also pleased at how we have put into effect our strategic framework, the Treaty of Moscow, and the Minister and I were discussing earlier how we should follow up on the implementation activities associated with the Treaty. In trade issues, things have improved considerably in recent years. On the whole, Mr. President, we have a rich relationship with many dimensions. I think all of those efforts that we have underway mutually are moving in a positive direction and President Bush is very satisfied with the state of our relationship. Of course when we do have areas of disagreement or areas of dispute, the strength of our relationship allows us to discuss the areas with candor and openness. Thank you for receiving me, Mr. President. I look forward to our conversation.

PRESIDENT PUTIN: Thank you very much, Mr. Secretary of State. I agree with your assessment. I, too, believe that the fundamental base of relations between Russia and the United States is solid and strong, and that despite all tactical differences that we might have on some international issues and such issues as protect national interests, the base, the solid base, of our relationship allows us to successfully overcome them. And we intend to continue to move in this direction. I would like to assure you, Mr. Secretary of State, that Russia s society has the same sentiments of the development of Russian-American relations. The same view is prevalent both in the State Duma and in many executive bodies. And I would like to assure you that the policies of Russian Federation will continue to be stable and predictable.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you, Mr. President.

2004/87 [End]

Released on January 26, 2004

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