Rumsfeld, Ivanov Set Agenda for Moscow Talks
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2001 Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld's meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov is just part of a Bush administration effort to put U.S.-Russian relations on a whole new plane, said a senior defense official Aug. 10.
Rumsfeld will hold concentrated meetings with Ivanov in Moscow Aug. 13. The consultations will build on talks held at the Pentagon Aug. 8 and 9. Those talks were confidential, but a senior defense official said they were conducted in a spirit of "consultation, cooperation and transparency."
Discussions in Moscow will deal with offensive strategic force reductions, missile defense, the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and areas of cooperation that can be developed between the United States and Russia.
The official said no formal agreement will come from these talks, rather this will advance the consultative process necessary to ensure the development of a new relationship between the United States and Russia.
The official said that new relationship would be entirely different from the U.S.-Soviet one of the Cold War. "It's a relationship that will require us to move beyond the institutions of the Cold War such as the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty," he said.
Missile defense will be a large part of the discussions. The United States will build "a limited, but effective missile defense against handfuls -- not hundreds or thousands -- of missiles," the official said. "It is in the interests of both the United States and Russia that we withdraw jointly from the ABM Treaty."
The official would not go into specifics about reductions of offensive nuclear weapons, saying the talks in Moscow will only start the consultative process.
The talks between the Rumsfeld and Ivanov will help set the agenda for talks between President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year.
Rumsfeld will return to Washington Aug. 13.