DoD News Briefing: Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen
[This photo opportunity takes place in Pentagon following a tour of the National Military Command Center with Secretary Cohen and Minister of Defense Igor Rodionov, of the Russian Federation.]
Q: Mr. Secretary, I know your pressed for time. I wonder if we just might get a reaction to the NATO agreement with Russia charter, and how you two feel about it?
Secretary Cohen: I don't think either one of us have seen the details of the agreement. The President's going to make a statement sometime today and then each of us, I think, will be in a position to offer commentary about it. Minister Rodionov indicated yesterday we were very close to signing an agreement and apparently that was done and concluded yesterday afternoon. But we'll have more to say once the President speaks to it. But he should make the announcement.
Q: Are we going to get an opportunity to talk with you both about it?
A: Well, I'm afraid Minister Rodionov may be in the air and on his way to Japan very early today after his conclusion of his session in the Tank. But I obviously would be available to make any comments following the President's announcement.
Q: Well, is he pleased that there is an agreement between NATO and Russia?
Secretary Cohen: He hasn't seen the agreement.
Minister Rodionov: Well I haven't seen the agreement yet. But the fact the agreement is already prepared [is] demonstrating it's a good sign. It demonstrates the intention of both sides to meet each other interests in trying to compromise. I think this agreement suits both Russia and the United States of America. I think it's very good.
Q: Thank you Mr. Secretary.