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Secretary Rumsfeld with Minister Ivanov at Start of Plenary

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

Monday, Aug. 13, 2001

(Remarks with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov at the start of the plenary session between U.S. and Russian delegations.)

Ivanov: Esteemed Mr. Rumsfeld, I'm very happy to welcome you again to our extended negotiations with our delegations here, and I think that we got off to a very energetic start in our conversation one-on-one. We discussed a wide range of issues connected not only with the issues of military security, but their interconnection with the issues of political interaction, economic interaction and there I think we have similar approaches to these issues.

I think we have discussed in detail the results of the meetings of our military experts in Washington recently and the pace that has been set in the consultations between the Defense Ministry and the Department of Defense, the meetings of experts and the defense ministers is fairly intensive. And I can say that in previous years we never witnessed such intensive consultations.

Once again, welcome.

Rumsfeld: Thank you very much. I can think of nothing to add. You covered our discussion very, very well. We were pleased to have your associates in Washington. And certainly I, and the delegation here, look forward to continuing our discussions throughout the day, and we thank you for your hospitality.

Q: Mr. Minister, just one brief question, if you could. The secretary said again this morning rather forcefully that the ABM Treaty has outlived its usefulness. Has he persuaded you otherwise today?

Ivanov: (Speaking in English.) I'm afraid not. (Speaking in Russian.) We still consider the ABM Treaty to be one of the key elements of the body of international treaties on which strategic stability is based. And one cannot discuss the ABM Treaty separately from many other agreements, including those on offensive weapons that exist today.

But, gentlemen, we have to apologize because the president is waiting for us right now, and we have to leave. But we still will have a chance to talk with you later.

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