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Secretary Rumsfeld Media Availability in Moscow

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
August 13, 2001

Sunday, August 12, 2001

(Media availability at Victory Park, Moscow, Russia)

Rumsfeld: We're very honored to have this impressive ceremony, and I'm looking forward to our visits tomorrow.

Q: (inaudible)

Rumsfeld: We will be talking about the relationship between the United States and Russia in this new period: political issues, economic issues, security issues -- a full range.

Q: Are you expecting breakthroughs?

Rumsfeld: Well, it's a process. There are talks, of course, taking place between our respective foreign ministries, as well as the defense ministries, and the presidents meet from time to time and will be meeting again, first in China and then in the United States. Each meeting we have -- and we had talks last week in Washington -- each one is helpful in that it helps each side get a little better understanding of the respective perspectives.

Q: But you hope to improve the prospects of Russia accepting missile defense, Mr. Secretary, or do you still think that is a steep road?

Rumsfeld: Well, I wouldn't even want to characterize it. I've had some excellent talks with Minister Ivanov in Brussels, and I look forward to some useful talks today. We'll see what happens.

Q: Do you expect to meet with President Putin?

Rumsfeld: That's up to others to handle.

Q: Have they indicated that's a possibility?

Rumsfeld: I think I leave those things for them to announce how they want to handle it.

Thank you, sir.