Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
Briefing following his meeting with President George W. Bush
September 19, 2001
My meeting with the United States President George Bush has just ended. Once
again, I expressed to the US President the profound condolences on behalf of
the Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin and of the whole people of our
country over the tragedy that befell the American people on September 11. I
stressed that Russia, which has experienced the horrors of terror, is in full
solidarity with the American people at this time. The conclusion we must all
draw from this tragedy -- is about the need for the most resolute and coordinated
actions by the international community to fight terrorism. We discussed with
the US President some specific steps in this area. We also examined the most
topical issues of cooperation between our countries. The common opinion was
expressed that the meetings held between our Presidents in Ljubljana and then
in Genoa have imparted the indispensable dynamism to the bilateral cooperation
and created prerequisites for enhancing and expanding the Russian-US cooperation
in different fields. Our main task now is to strengthen these positive trends
and develop them further.
On behalf of the Russian President Vladimir Putin, I confirmed the Russian leadership's
readiness to further the constructive partner relations with the United States
in all areas. I wish to point out with satisfaction that a similar approach
is also shared by the American side, by the President of the United States of
America. Based on this approach, we are now vigorously working to prepare the
coming meeting of the two Presidents in Shanghai during the APEC session and
then -- during the first official visit the Russian President Vladimir Putin
will make to the United States in mid-November.
Prominent attention during the conversation with the US President was given
to problems of strategic stability. I handed over to the US President the official
message from the RF President Vladimir Putin summing up the results of the recent
consultations on the interrelated issues of offensive and defensive weapons,
and also presenting some of our ideas concerning the continuation of this dialogue.
Russia is firmly prepared to follow the road of shaping a new strategic framework
of the relations between our countries.
During the conversation we also examined issues of the further development of
trade and economic cooperation. Of positive significance in this connection
have been the recent visits to Russia by the US secretaries of finance and economics.
Now a visit by the US Secretary of Economics is being prepared, who will lead
a delegation of US entrepreneurs. So there are tangible successes in this area
President George Bush said that he awaits with impatience new meetings with
the Russian President Vladimir Putin and hopes that the upcoming conversations
and talks will help impart a fresh positive impetus to the relations between
QUESTION: Did the US side raise the question of Russia providing military support
and granting the use of Russian bases in Tajikistan?
ANSWER: The question was not raised by the Americans, but the American side
expressed its profound appreciation to Russia for the support it gave in this
hour of trial for the Americans and the readiness to closely interact on a broad
range of issues in the struggle against international terrorism.
QUESTION: Would you comment on possible areas of cooperation between Russia
and the USA in the struggle against terrorism?
ANSWER: We maintain permanent contacts through the Foreign Ministries and the
special services of the two countries. Today negotiations were held in Moscow
between the Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and the First Deputy
Foreign Minister of Russia Vyacheslav Trubnikov. The negotiations centered on
both the situation around Afghanistan and, in a wider sense, on the possible
areas of cooperation between Russia and the USA in the struggle against international
terrorism. The proposals of the American side will be carefully studied and
the dialogue will be continued. At the same time, already now there is the exchange
of information concerning the activities of different extremist and terrorist
organizations, including in connection with Afghanistan. Russia has always favored
expanded international cooperation in the struggle against extremism and terrorism,
because no state, however strong it may be, cannot tackle the problem single-handedly.