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Secretary Rumsfeld with President Putin at Kremlin

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld
August 16, 2001

Monday, Aug. 13, 2001

(Remarks with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin.)

Putin: Mr. Secretary, dear colleagues, I am glad to welcome you to the Kremlin, and it's a particular pleasure to meet you, Mr. Secretary, because you are well known in Russia as a very experienced politician who knows history well and knows the present situation in Russia.

And I am pleased to note that the arrangement we made with Mr. Bush in Ljubljana and Genoa is being implemented, and our dialogue has reached quite a high level. I recently received a message from him assessing the results of the visit to Russia by the secretaries of the Treasury and Commerce of the United States, and I fully agree with this assessment.

And, of course, one of the most important areas of our interaction are the issues of security and defense. I would like to thank you for the warm reception recently accorded to the Russian delegation led by the deputy chief of the General Staff of the Russian Federation, Mr. Baluevsky. We very much hope that the high level of the dialogue achieved recently will lead us to an agreement in the field of offensive weapons and defensive systems.

You know what our attitude is to the ABM Treaty of 1972. And to us it is undoubtedly linked to START 2 and START 1 treaties and I would like to stress this. So we would like to get the military and technical parameters of the proposals being prepared and formulated today in your agency.

Finally, regarding offensive weapons. We agreed with President Bush in Geneva to consider the issue of possible reductions of offensive weapons, and I confirm this agreement. And in this context, it's very important for us to receive answers to several questions: thresholds of reductions, the timeframe of reductions, verification and confidence measures and transparency measures.

I'm very glad, Mr. Secretary, that you have found it possible to come to Moscow and hold negotiations with our minister of Defense, Mr. Ivanov, and I hope that negotiations will be constructive. I hope so. So, welcome.

Rumsfeld: Thank you very much, Mr. President. We thank you for taking the time to meet with our delegation. We're very pleased to be here. As you know, this is the second series of meetings that your minister of Defense and I have had the opportunity to engage in.

I bring greetings from President Bush. He has met with me, and we visited just before I left Washington, D.C., on Saturday and reminded me of his visits with you and his encouragement to me, as you have encouraged your minister of Defense, that we meet and very seriously attempt to work out a relationship between our two countries that is satisfactory to both presidents.

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