Powell On Tour: Russia
In This Item:
- Press Briefing on Board Plane En Route Moscow
- TV6 Interview in Moscow, Russia
- ORT Television Interview in Moscow, Russia
Press Briefing on Board Plane En Route Moscow
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 9, 2001
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell Press Briefing on Board Plane
En Route Moscow, Russia December 9, 2001
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm distressed to learn there has been another suicide bomber. I cannot understand, I assume, I am not sure if Hamas is taking credit for it. But whether it's Hamas or one of the other organizations, they need to understand that this leads nowhere. This does not lead to the end of violence, which will lead to negotiations to the settlement of this crisis. So I condemn this action and once again encourage both sides to do the necessary to put the violence down to zero. General Zinni has another security meeting scheduled for today for specific actions that both sides should take and I hope that both sides will respond positively to the meeting. I assume the meeting will take place.
QUESTION: Do you actually believe that Arafat is capable of cutting them off?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think that Chairman Arafat is capable of doing more than he has done so far and he has to deal with Hamas. Hamas is destroying his authority of credibility. He wants to look forward to a peace process and actions such as this are a direct attack against him as well as a direct attack against Israel and innocent civilians.
QUESTION: What are the sorts of prescriptions that Zinni is putting forward?
SECRETARY POWELL: We had a number of ideas over the past several months that have come out the Tenet report, that have come out of previous discussions, I don't have the specifics with me but there are things that you can do locally to start to bring control of different areas. With Palestinian Security Forces taking responsibility of a particular location - Israelis moving back a little to see if it sticks or holds. And then you go from there. I think this is something that is going to have to be built; the cease-fire is going to have to be built area by area, and I'm of the view that you are not going to get a cease-fire everywhere all at once. You are going to have to go location-by-location, piece-by-piece and try to build this, if it's going to be built at all like coral, one piece at a time coming out of the sea.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, with all due respect, you've been sending the same message to General Arafat that he has to do more, that he has to deal with Hamas, etc. Does he obviously doesn't get it or can't do it or he can't do more? It doesn't seem to be enough.
SECRETARY POWELL: I think he is getting it. He's getting it now from everybody, from us, from the international community, from the Europeans and from the Arab leaders in the region. But the question is now, can he act on it, and he has authority to control those things that are under his control and he has to deal with those things that may not be under his control, and he has to bring under his control or do something to make them unable to conduct the kinds of attacks that they have been conducting. Otherwise, there will be no peace in this region. Yes, it is something I have been saying for months, but my view hasn't changed. And if you look at the situation, and unless that kind of action is taken, I don't know how to get moving. We've got to have some movement toward a cease-fire. Without a cease-fire we cannot get on the path that both sides need to be on. I've been saying this for almost ten and half months and see nothing to change my view or to change the objective facts there are. We have seen both sides pursuing courses of action that have not gained Israel any additional security and have not moved this toward a peace process. So it is important to keep driving home the simple fact that we have a plan, the Mitchell Plan, which will move us toward this direction and try to get a cease- fire. I think the burden is on Mr. Arafat to do more to get the violence down to zero.
QUESTION: Is there some fall back plan perhaps to ask other leaders in the region to take a more active role?
SECRETARY POWELL: I mentioned this to Arafat, but in previous interviews Mr. Arafat talked about the Palestinian leaders. There's a leader for the Hamas, there's a leader for all these organizations and all their responsibility for what is happening and all their responsibility to do something about it. That strategy on Hamas takes us nowhere. It does not achieve whatever political objectives we have in mind. All it does is kill youngsters, suicide bombers and innocent Israelis. So where does that take us? Where does that lead us? So it becomes a burden on the leaders of these organizations, as well as a burden on Arafat.
QUESTION: The question about the Moscow stop. You told us a couple of times during the course of this trip that there was a near agreement to move the Start I and II verification procedures to the new strategic framework. How can you do that without an arms control treaty Mr. President says he doesn't want?
SECRETARY POWELL: What the President said at the Washington press conference, if my memory serves me correctly, is that the piece of paper is needed, we will do a piece of paper. We have to somehow as we move forward and as the Russians identify for us specifically and formally what their reductions will be, then what we don't want to lose is the verification and notifications and other provisions of Start I and some of the provisions of Start II need to be taken forward. One of the things we discussed with Foreign Minister Ivanov and what we will be discussing is how to bring these features forward and to, we use a variety of words, to codify them, formalize them as the document in a way that both sides find satisfactory; we are still....
QUESTION: Do you expect to get a specific number from the Russians on all types of weapons on this trip?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know; I'll wait and see tonight and tomorrow. What they have said to us previously is that their number will be consistent with our number. So I expect it to be in the same range. Whether they pick the same range, pick a specific number, or expand their range a little bit, I do not know yet. But I'm of the view that it will be in that same general area.
QUESTION: The Iran pipeline question. I was curious what your response to him might have been one, if there had been one. And also what extent you brought this up in your meetings individually or in a larger meeting?
SECRETARY POWELL: We didn't go into the specifics of pipelines and the details of CPCs or BTCs vs until Pat decided to share his extensive knowledge of all the pipelines. And so we talked in general terms about the potential that Kazakhstan has and I was particularly impressed with my conversation with the American Chambers this morning about the amount of money they are looking at investing in Kazakhstan. They were talking in the range of $200 billion over the next 5 or 10 years ahead because they see that kind of potential. To get that potential out, you've got to move it. You've got to move all that fuel, crude natural gas and so I heard the president carefully but I did not have a well-structured answer that I would have contributed at that point or now.
QUESTION: You had suggested in your earlier remarks that nothing had changed since September 11. What were you meaning to say by that?
SECRETARY POWELL: I just wanted to stick to the two major pipeline projects, the CPC and the BTC, and there is another one coming along. CPC just opened, Spence Abraham was just at the opening, and BTC is the subject of discussion and is coming along and I just wanted to hold the story right there.
QUESTION: On Iran?
SECRETARY POWELL: On Iran, setting aside pipelines. I am open to explore opportunities. We have been in discussions with the Iranians on a variety of levels and in some new ways since September 11. Jim Dobbins spoke with Iranians in Bonn as we put together the new interim administration in Afghanistan, and I had a brief handshake and discussion with the Iranian Prime Minister in the UN. So there are a number of things going on and we recognize the nature of that regime and we recognize that the Iranian people are starting to try to find a new way forward and we are open to exploring opportunities without having any vaseline in our eyes with respect to the nature of the government or the history of the past 22 years.
QUESTION: Can you tell us when you were last in Moscow and how you expect to find it post-September 11?
SECRETARY POWELL: I was last in Moscow, if my memory serves me correctly, at the Reagan Summit in 1988, some of you may be old enough to remember. I think that was my last visit to Moscow and am very anxious to see it again. It was still a city of wide-open streets, a few things going up about, and one of my staff just came back and wrote me a note and said you may remember the one McDonald's that was there. You ought to see the place now. So I am very anxious to see Moscow - see what it's like and get a sense of how this newfound opulence in Moscow will eventually trickle out to places, which are thousands of miles away from Moscow and have not yet been touched. And so I'm just very anxious to see the place. I hope I will have the time to walk around, though it may be unlikely.
QUESTION: Back to the Middle East. You said that the leaders of Hamas and other militant organizations need to realize their strategies. Do I understand you right to be appealing to the leaders of these organizations to get the violence down? If so, what reason do you have to believe they might actually do this and is it also in the sense of acknowledgement that Arafat himself doesn't have the capacity to do what needs to be done to bring down the violence sufficiently?
SECRETARY POWELL: I'm not so much appealing to them as I am stating what is a fact. They will not push Israel into the sea. And so they will not be successful if that is their goal. Mr. Arafat has available to him tens of thousands of security personnel with weapons and this is a direct challenge to the peace process, to his party, to his ability to demonstrate that he is the leader of the Palestinian people and in the position to negotiate with the Israelis. And so, it is a simple statement of fact and the Palestinian people ought to be asking these leaders where does this lead us, where does this take us? And the answer is nowhere. It takes you to the wrong destination where you can't get the state that you want to have and that you ought to have with this kind of activity on the part of organizations like Hamas is becoming a more distant vision.
QUESTION: You have a couple of stops this evening. One you are going to do an interview with Channels TV 6, as you know a lot of NTVers have gone over there and also you will be laying some flowers at the Pushkinskaya Metro. What message are you trying to send or your interview with TV6, and what's your message or purpose for laying flowers? Is this showing solidarity with the Russians?
SECRETARY POWELL: It is showing solidarity with the Russians; it is showing that this kind of violence exists in many forms and it is not just to America but elsewhere. I thought it was a useful connection to make and the two television stations that I will be doing interviews on at a reasonable hour. I think you all heard me speak about free press and free media and my Jeffersonian views from time to time. And I'll continue in that theme if the right questions are presented. But there is no statement coming from me. It will be an open interview session and I'll see what they ask. I always endorse a free media.
QUESTION: The Pushkinskaya bombing is said by the Russians to be by Chechnyans. I was wondering if Chechnyan terrorism will come up extensively in your talks and could you tell us a little bit about what kind of different agenda you'll have in your meetings with Ivanov and then with the President?
SECRETARY POWELL: In meetings with Ivanov and in meetings I have been in with President Putin and President Bush, whenever Chechnya comes up, it is a very emotional issue for the Russians. They believe they are under terrorist attack and there is apparently a terrorist element to the threat that they face. But we also tell them to work hard to find a political solution. President Putin has attempted to do that after September 11, as you recall the speech that he gave. And I'm sure it will come up and we will discuss it. With Foreign Minister Ivanov, tonight will be a mostly social evening, but I expect we'll get into business as we usually do. I think this is number 16 in terms of meetings for those of you keeping score. So the conversations are very easy with Igor and I find them very stimulating. As far as Putin tomorrow, I suspect we'll go through all the range of issues, strategic arms, Chechnya, but more importantly, the emerging relationship between Russia and the West. I'm sure we'll have the chance to talk about NATO at 20, and the implications of that for the Russia-Western and Russia- US relationship.
QUESTION: Question about a statement you made when last we talked to you. You said that most things were in place with the strategic framework, except the defense thing still has problems. Could explain what you meant by that?
SECRETARY POWELL: There is still a difference of opinion on the defense piece, I mean the strategically defensive weapons were just about done, all we have to do is hear a number from them and then I talked about verification and other issues. We will be talking about non-proliferation activities as part of the strategic framework. Great concentration on transparency so both sides know what the other is doing. Exchange of information on various programs. But there still is this disagreement with respect to missile defense programs. Increasingly in the ABM Treaty constraints that the President feels we must do in order to get our missile defense systems and they continue to find the ABM Treaty to be at the center of the strategic framework. We haven't been able to persuade them otherwise and they haven't been able to persuade us otherwise. We haven't been able to find to get through that by their accepting the testing we have to do. So I am here to see if there are any new ideas on this. Under Secretary Bolton was already in Russia this week talking with Mamedov and I am sure Igor and I and President Putin and I will have the chance to discuss it again tomorrow. But increasingly we are constrained by the treaty.
TV6 Interview in Moscow, Russia
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 10, 2001
Secretary Of State Colin L. Powell TV6 Interview
Moscow, Russia December 9, 2001
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, what is your view of the role and the actions of Russia during the current situation in Afghanistan and around Afghanistan?
SECRETARY POWELL: I think Russia has played a very positive role since the events of the 11th of September. We are very pleased at the immediate support that President Putin gave to us. He was the first world leader to call Mr. Bush and that meant a lot to the American people. The Russian people and the Russian government have been working very closely with us and with the international coalition to bring all the pressure to bear that we can against the terrorists of the September 11th incident, those who were responsible for the September 11th incident, and in the campaign against terrorism in general. Russia has suffered from terrorist acts and understands that this is a campaign that the whole of Russia should be aligned in.
QUESTION: Could you tell us what disagreements exist in the approaches to the Afghan problem between Russia and the United States?
SECRETARY POWELL: I don't know of any. Foreign Minister Ivanov and I speak several times a week on the issue. They have been very supportive of our efforts in the United Nations. We have coordinated very, very closely. We have coordinated as we tried to get the political process started in Bonn and both governments are supporting the interim administration that will be heading to Kabul shortly and we have worked together as Russia sent in some of its units to reestablish your embassy and also to put into place a humanitarian operation which is doing wonderful work. In all of that we have coordinated closely with each other.
QUESTION: Mr. Powell, could you tell us if there were any changes and, if so, what changes have occurred in the attitude of the US administration toward the actions of the Russian government in Chechnya since September 11th?
SECRETARY POWELL: We noted with great interest President Putin's speech several weeks after September 11th when he aligned himself in the campaign against terrorism and also spoke about his desires to reach a political settlement in Chechnya. We welcomed that statement on his side, his statement. We have said to our Russian colleagues that we understand that they have a situation, a problem they have to deal with. There are terrorists in Chechnya and we understand that, but they have to use restraint to try to find a political solution and be very, very considerate of human rights of people and make sure they look aggressively into any instances where human rights may have been violated in the prosecution of this crisis.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, could you tell us how the current cases, the current events, in which the Russian government more and more often tries to suppress the media, specifically they are trying to do that to TV-6, this TV company that I represent. How would they affect the Russian-US relations?
SECRETARY POWELL: I can't speak to the specifics of your station, either on the business side or the political side, but just let me say that we have always said to our Russian colleagues that an independent media is an essential component of a democratic system. The media must be free to gather information and must be free to criticize every element of the society. It can be very uncomfortable at times - believe me I know - but this is one of the essential features of democracy: a free and independent media that is a check on all elements of society. Our two presidents discussed this at every one of their meetings and after the Washington-Crawford meetings President Bush offered to send a group of media experts over to discuss these matters with the Russian government and the media people in Russia.
QUESTION: And are you going to raise this issue during this current visit?
SECRETARY POWELL: I always raise it in my discussions with Foreign Minister Ivanov and I'm sure it will come up in my discussions with President Putin.
QUESTION: Thank you, Mister Secretary, for your [inaudible].
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you.
QUESTION: We really appreciate this. Thank you.
ORT Television Interview in Moscow, Russia
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Office of the Spokesman FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 9, 2001
Secretary of State Colin L. Powell ORT Television Interview
Moscow, Russia December 9, 2001
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, the relations between Russia and the United States are reaching a new qualitative level. Now, the policy of the current US Administration is designed to establish closer ties with Russia. Is this a long-term policy or does this depend on the political situation?
SECRETARY POWELL: It's a long-term policy. There's been a commitment made by President Bush when he came into office to forge strong ties with Russia. President Bush and President Putin have now met three times. Other cabinet officers have been travelling back and forth representing our Treasury Department, our Defense Department, our Commerce Department. And I have met with Foreign Minister Ivanov many times. We talk several times a week. As a result of the tragedies that occurred on the 11th of September, however, I think the building of the relationship has accelerated. Because the United States and the Russian Federation - and President Bush and President Putin - came together as partners as part of a great coalition in a campaign against terrorism. I was just in Brussels two days ago where we found a way to build upon the relationship between NATO and Russia in the months and years ahead, so this is a permanent change, not just for the temporary period that we are going through now. We want Russia to work more closely with the West. We want to see this happen and we want to work on the basis of mutual interests, on the basis of trust, and on the basis of transparency. We share information with each other all the time. We welcome this new era.
QUESTION: Mister Secretary, is the US leadership still insisting on a fast and one-sided pullout on the 1972 ABM Treaty? Is it possible, in your opinion, to find a compromise between our countries in order to preserve this treaty?
SECRETARY POWELL: You have to look at the ABM Treaty in the context of the overall strategic framework. And the most important element of that framework are our strategic offense weapons, the things that we shoot at each other. When I became Chairman of the American Joint Chiefs of Staff in 1989 there were 12,000 strategic weapons. With President Bush's decision in Washington and in Crawford with President Putin, we now will reduce that to somewhere between 1700 and 2200, a remarkable reduction, and we know that the Russian side will be reducing it to the same range. We have discussed with the Russian side for many months now the new threats that have emerged as other nations are developing missiles that can carry weapons of mass destruction. The United States believes that it is important and necessary for us to develop a missile defense, not against Russia, but against these new threats from other countries that are irresponsible. The ABM Treaty prevents us from developing these kinds of missile defense systems so we have to get beyond the constraints of that treaty. I think the Russian side still believes that treaty is an essential part of the strategic framework and we have not been able to resolve this disagreement. We will continue to discuss with them, as I'm sure we will with President Putin, this situation tomorrow.
QUESTION: Mister Secretary, what will be the extent of rapprochement between Russia and NATO? Will Russia become a full-fledged participant in making military and political decisions within NATO, especially when it concerns the use of military force?
SECRETARY POWELL: It depends on the circumstance, of course. As you know, Russia has not asked for membership in NATO and so the new arrangement that was decided upon in Brussels earlier this week, which both the United States, other NATO members and Russia have agreed to, is an arrangement at twenty. So then we all sit at twenty, we can discuss any issues that are appropriate to be discussed at twenty, and this could include the use of military forces in, say, peacekeeping operations or in [unintelligible] operations. Both sides reserve the right to act on their own. NATO must always be able to act, just as NATO with nineteen. And Russia, of course, has its freedom to act because it will not be a full member of NATO, just part of this group of twenty, when it meets at twenty. So we are looking for those specific areas where the two sides - NATO and Russia, together sitting at twenty - can find areas that are of mutual interest so they can discuss and make joint decisions about them.
QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, thank you very much.
SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much. It's very good to be back in Russia. It's been too many years since my last visit. Much has changed. Thank you.