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Russia
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov
Briefing following his meeting with President George W. Bush
Washington, D.C.
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 as well.

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 our countries.

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.

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© Publication of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation.