United States Department of Defense United States Department of Defense

News Transcript

Press Operations Bookmark and Share

Transcript


Question And Answer Session With Secretary Gates Following His Remarks To The General Staff Academy from Moscow, Russia

Presenter: Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates
October 13, 2007
            (Note: The translation of the questions was off mike.)
            Q     (In Russian.)
            SEC. GATES: I think that one of the developments that concerned us all was the Chinese test of an anti-satellite weapon a few months ago. I think we all have to be concerned about weaponization of space, and we are certainly prepared to have conversations in terms of dealing with that.
            Q     (In Russian.)
            SEC. GATES: Okay. First of all, we have made arrangements, as you well know, in Bulgaria and Romania for training facilities. We have no permanent presence, military presence, in either of those countries. The idea was that perhaps no more than a brigade would, from time to time, rotate through and train in those places.
            The reality is that we have not had anybody there recently and have no plans to have anyone there since our forces are stretched so thinly because of Iraq and Afghanistan.
            With respect to Georgia -- and we have no plans and no intention of basing or stationing forces in either Georgia or Ukraine, even if we were to be invited.
            Q     (In Russian.)
            SEC. GATES: Whoever said it apparently didn't know what they were talking about. I think that the United States, for a long time, has recognized the territorial integrity of Russia. And it is, I think, important for the territorial integrity of Russia to be preserved.
            Unfortunately, I have a meeting very soon with your prime minister. I have time for one more question. I apologize for so little time.
            Q     (In Russian.)
            SEC. GATES: Well, I never heard anybody say anything like what you just quoted, so I don't know what the source is, whether it's an official or somebody else. I've never heard anybody question whether Siberia ought not be a part of Russia. That's the silliest thing I ever heard.
            Q     (In Russian.)
            SEC. GATES: As a matter of fact, this subject came up in a meeting with the foreign minister and Defense Minister Serdyukov yesterday. And I think that our principal concern has been in two respects; first, selling weapons to Iran that has made no secret of its aggressive ambitions. Our other principal concern was the sale of weapons to Syria, which has served as a conduit for arming Hezbollah and the potential destabilization of Lebanon.
            Your leaders raised their concerns with some of our arms sales, and I think that the best way to describe it is that at the end we decided to agree to disagree.
            Thank you for your hospitality.
            (C) COPYRIGHT 2007, FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC., 1000 VERMONT AVE.
NW; 5TH FLOOR; WASHINGTON, DC - 20005, USA. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. ANY REPRODUCTION, REDISTRIBUTION OR RETRANSMISSION IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED.
            UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION, REDISTRIBUTION OR RETRANSMISSION CONSTITUTES A MISAPPROPRIATION UNDER APPLICABLE UNFAIR COMPETITION LAW, AND FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC. RESERVES THE RIGHT TO PURSUE ALL REMEDIES AVAILABLE TO IT IN RESPECT TO SUCH MISAPPROPRIATION.
            FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, INC. IS A PRIVATE FIRM AND IS NOT AFFILIATED WITH THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. NO COPYRIGHT IS CLAIMED AS TO ANY PART OF THE ORIGINAL WORK PREPARED BY A UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT OFFICER OR EMPLOYEE AS PART OF THAT PERSON'S OFFICIAL DUTIES.
            FOR INFORMATION ON SUBSCRIBING TO FNS, PLEASE CALL JACK GRAEME AT 202-347-1400.