For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 13, 2001
National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice
on the President's Trip to Europe
the James S. Brady Briefing Room
10:22 A.M. EDT
DR. RICE: Good morning, how are you this
morning? I'm here to give an overview of the President's
trip to Europe next week.
Next Wednesday, July 18th, President Bush
departs to Europe to attend the G-7/G-8 Summit in Genoa,
Italy. During his six-day trip, which will take him to the
United Kingdom, Italy, the Vatican and Kosovo. He will also
have the opportunity to hold meetings with a number of leaders.
The President's overall objective for the
Genoa Summit is to advance a vision of partnership between the G-8 and
developing countries based on mutual responsibility that will help
build a world that is more free, secure and prosperous.
The President will also build on the
progress made during his June trip to advance the European agenda,
building a Europe whole, free and at peace, and working with Europe to
realize our common, global responsibilities.
In the United Kingdom, the President will
begin his trip. While in the UK, the President will attend
lunch with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip at Buckingham Palace,
and join Prime Minister Blair at Chequers for bilateral meetings.
The United States and the UK, of course,
cooperate on nearly every significant global change. We're
strong allies in areas of arms control and nonproliferation, and work
together to combat terrorism, organized crime and drug trafficking.
The UK, of course, is a key NATO and
European ally, and our troops and commanders are working side-by-side
in NATO-led operations in the Balkans.
The President plans to cover a range of
issues with Prime Minister Blair: bilateral relations; the
upcoming G-8, G-7 summit; the Balkans; the Middle East; European
security, including NATO enlargement; responding to the growing threat
of the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the means of
delivery; and working together on new strategic responses to the new
The President spoke with Prime Minister
Blair early in July; he saw him at NATO, at Gotenbourg, last month;
and, of course, received him at Camp David in February.
The President then departs for Genoa
mid-morning on July 20th. While the focus of the time in
Genoa will be the G-7/G-8 Summit, the President will also be able there
to hold bilateral meetings with President Putin, with President Chirac,
Chancellor Schroeder and Prime Minister Chretien.
The central theme of the Summit is poverty
alleviation. The parties will emphasize global economic
growth, free trade and accountability systems of governance as the
foundations for effective poverty alleviation. They will also stress
that poverty alleviation must be a partnership based on mutual
responsibility, where developing countries put in place the policies to
attract private investment, while industrialized countries ensure that
they have the tools to do so.
These themes, an extension in many ways of
the President's own compassionate conservatism at home, are reflected
in the draft communiques of the G-7 and G-8.
While Blair, Chirac, Chretien, Putin and
Schroeder -- and, of course, EU President Prodi -- are all veterans of
last year's summit in Okinawa, this will be the first G-7/G-8 Summit
for President Bush, as well as for Japanese Prime Minister
Koizumi. Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi presided over the
last Italian G-7 Summit in 1994, in Naples -- which was also, by the
way, the first year that the Russians were invited to a G-8.
Let me say a few words about the summit,
its structure and what we expect to achieve there.
The summit begins at 12:00 p.m., noon,
with an arrival ceremony. The G-7 sessions then will last
from mid-day to about 4:30 p.m., and they consist of a luncheon and
working session. The topics covered in that session will be
world economic outlook; oil prices; the trade, perhaps the launch of a
new trade round; debt relief; and issues concerning Russia. The G-7
statement addresses many of these issues, and it will be released at
the end of that afternoon session.
A significant outcome and focus of the
session will be the new HIV/AIDS trust fund. The U.S. has
played a leadership role in the efforts to fight the AIDS pandemic
throughout the world, and this summit will formally launch the global
AIDS fund, which emphasizes prevention in the continuum of treatment
Secretary General Kofi Annan will join the
members of the G-7/G-8 for this event.
Later in the evening, there will be an
outreach working session and dinner that will be hosted by President
Ciampi, and it will provide G-8 leaders an opportunity to discuss
poverty alleviation with the heads of the following
countries: Mali, Nigeria, South Africa, Algeria, Bangladesh
and El Salvador. U.N. General Secretary Annan and World Bank
President James Wolfensohn, as well as the Directors General of the
World Health Organization, the U.N. Food and Agricultural Organization
and the World Trade Organization will all join them.
That working session and dinner is
expected to last about three hours.
Four substantive G-8 working sessions will
be held the next day, on Saturday. And there will be late
morning sessions, as well as luncheon and dinner
sessions. At those dinner and luncheon sessions, the G-8
will discuss market access, private investment, education, the digital
opportunity task force -- the DOT force that was created last year --
climate change and a number of other issues.
On Sunday, the summit concludes with the
issuance of the G-8 communique. Now, on the margins of the
summit, the President is going to hold, as I said, separate meetings
with French President Chirac and German Chancellor Schroeder, as well
as with Prime Minister Chretien.
He will also have a bilateral with
President Putin, where they will attempt to continue to make progress
on the new bilateral agenda that they set out at Ljubljana, a
constructive, realistic agenda. They'll discuss a range of
issues, including the new strategic framework for dealing with the
security threats that we face. We will discuss ways to
advance a reform and business-based economic relationship with Russia,
as well as review our common interest in several regional issues.
The President will, of course, talk also
to President Putin about a number of issues on which we do not agree --
Chechnya, about the concerns for media freedom, and on Russia's
relations with its neighbors.
The President then goes on to Rome, where
he will hold bilateral meetings with President Ciampi and Prime
Minister Berlusconi and attend an audience with Pope John Paul
II. While in Rome, the President will lay a wreath at the
Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
This part of the trip emphasizes the
importance of our relationship with Italy. We are close
allies and we share a number of responsibilities in almost every world
organization. And, of course, we are particularly interested
in talking about Italy's important Mediterranean presence that makes it
a critical contributor to regional security and stability in the
Balkans, North Africa and in the Middle East.
The President looks forward to discussing
these important issues. He has had contact with Prime
Minister Berlusconi, including seeing him on the recent trip to Europe
in June, and phoning him shortly after his election in May.
At the Vatican, the President is looking
forward to his meeting for the first time with Pope John Paul II, one
of the great thinkers, moral and religious leaders of our
time. You should also know that the Vatican and the United
States have a close dialogue on international issues of common
The U.S. values, in particular, the
Vatican's significant contributions to international peace and human
rights. The U.S. and the Holy See share many common views
and consult regularly about issues of religious freedom.
The President will then go on to Camp
Bondsteel, in Kosovo. And that is where he ends his
trip. There, he plans to meet with a number of important
figures in our Kosovo deployment. He looks forward to
meeting with American troops serving in the Balkans. And
there he intends to convey, through his visit, his appreciation to
America's forces, demonstrating our commitment to working with our
allies to advance peace and stability in the region.
After that trip -- which is pretty
exhausting, like the last trip, but at least has us for a couple of
nights in one country, as opposed to last time -- the President will
And I'm prepared to take your questions.
Q Can you be a
little more specific about the anti-poverty initiatives the President
is going to bring with him? And do you expect that the stem
cell decision will be made before he meets with -- and announced,
before he meets with the Pope?
DR. RICE: The President will talk about a
number of poverty alleviation issues with his colleagues, including the
importance of access to education, the importance of a healthy
population -- indeed, the whole HIV/AIDS plan is because there is a
belief that this is a great humanitarian tragedy, but it's also a great
tragedy for countries that are trying to make it out of poverty, when
you have an infected population.
They'll talk about the DOT force that is
access to Internet connection for countries that could get left
behind. We'll talk some more about this over the next couple
of days. The President, himself, I think will have a chance
to say a little bit more about some of the poverty alleviation
strategies. But that's the broad context, Ron.
And I want to emphasize that the President
believes that global growth and global trade are in and of themselves
absolutely necessary for poverty alleviation, and that what the G-7
does to make market access possible for poor countries is perhaps the
most important poverty alleviation strategy of all.
Q On stem cell, do
you think it will be done before the --
DR. RICE: I don't know.
Q Dr. Rice, you
said that the formal launch of the HIV/AIDS trust fund -- which we have
voted $200 million dollars as a country -- can you give us some
expectation of what other kind of dollar values we're likely to see
from other G-8 nations, and should we have some expectation that this
fund will grow and Mr. Annan's presence there is to sort of acknowledge
DR. RICE: Well, we hope that there will be
significant contributions to this fund at this effort to launch
it. I think that there will be. I don't want to
try to give you a number, because I think that they're continuing to
work on the contributions.
But there is no doubt that a lot of
progress has been made in putting this fund together, since the day
that Secretary General Annan and President Bush stood out here in the
Rose Garden and talked about launching the fund. And I think
that if you talk to Kofi Annan you will see that he is really quite
pleased with the progress that's been made in this short time.
Not only do they expect to make
significant progress on contributions at this meeting, but the entire
idea of a trust fund is that you would expect as the fund proves
itself, demonstrates that the kind of strategy that is in place, the
kind of conditionality that's in place for grants from the trust fund
is working, that you would have more contributions coming into
it. So this is going to be a long strategy.
Q If I might
follow-up. The general structure of the G-8 meeting, is it
in part put together to deal with what is expected to be a rather large
protest in Genoa from those who have habitually been protesting not
only globalization, but world trade? Are you trying to
organize this in a way preemptively to deal with those concerns and,
perhaps, bring the protest down to a lower level?
DR. RICE: This is being organized in this
way because the G-7 and G-8 really believe that this is an important
agenda for the industrialized world.
And I think that you're seeing this
connection made more and more around the world. Indeed, when
you look back at the Summit of the Americas, I think you're going to
see that there were a lot of the same themes that are going to be
expressed: that you have to have accountability of
governments that are trying to bring themselves out of poverty; you
have to have good governance; you have to have anti-corruption
efforts. But you do have to have an international structure
that promotes global growth and promotes global trade.
So I think you're going to see that this
is a theme that is there all along. And it's not done to
deal with any specific criticism -- it's really to set an affirmative
agenda about how we get to dealing with these problems.
Q A question about
the meeting with the Pope and then about the meeting with
Putin. Is he expected to bring up stem cell with the Pope?
And on the Putin question, when the United States actually takes the
step that would violate the ABM Treaty, is it going to, like, make an
official announcement and say, we are now doing this? Or is
it just going to do it? Are we going to have a new
negotiation? How do you actually officially do that?
DR. RICE: On the Pope, I think that the
agenda with the Pope will be whatever the Holy Father and the President
decide to talk about. So I really can't answer that
In terms of the ABM Treaty, first of all,
we have been saying for some time that there are two problems with the
ABM Treaty. One is that it limits the kind of research and
testing that you need to find the most effective systems.
Just to give you an example, a lot of
people like the idea of a sea-based system. But if you test
a sea-based system in an ABM mode, then you're in violation of the
treaty. So the treaty is quite restrictive. It
was intended to prevent you from building ballistic missile systems, so
it's not surprising that it's restrictive on these matters.
Now, obviously, the United States is not
going to do something illegal. We are working an opportunity
here, we believe, with the Russians to redefine this
relationship. And that's the second problem with the
treaty. It's not appropriate to a relationship between great
powers that are not enemies.
And so what we're saying to the Russians
is, let's move beyond that treaty. We have some time now
with the Russians over the next period of time here to try and come to
a new strategic framework. But I can assure you that we
understand our obligations and we understand our legal obligations and
we would -- anything that we would do, we're going to do it legally.
Q So coming to a
new framework means, in a sense, renegotiating the ABM Treaty?
DR. RICE: Coming to a new framework means
that we need to move past where we are with the ABM Treaty to something
that more properly reflects the new relationship with
Russia. And it means that we have to be able, for instance,
to deal with the new threats with limited defenses.
We also believe, by the way, that the new
strategic framework should include lower offensive numbers; that it
should also include new nonproliferation efforts. So this is
not just missile defense, this is really redefining the strategic
relationship with Russia.
Q Does the
President support Russian membership in the World Trade
Organization? Do you see a way there to maybe sweeten the
pot on missile defense?
DR. RICE: We believe -- we're
free traders, and we believe that any country that can meet the terms
and, therefore, be capable of really being part of the World Trade
Organization ought to be -- and, in fact, we've said that we do favor
Russian accession to the WTO -- it would be good to work with the
Russians to try and figure out how that can be brought about. I think
the Russians, themselves, would say that they have a number of steps
that they have to take internally, before WTO accession would be
possible. But we absolutely think it would be a good thing.
Q Will this be on
the agenda in the --
DR. RICE: Well, remember that
shortly after the President meets with President Putin, Secretary Evans
and Secretary O'Neill will be in Moscow. I think it's anticipated that
somewhere in the near future, Trade Representative Zoellick would be in
Moscow. And there clearly would be opportunities to talk
Q May we just
deviate for a second on the Olympics? Does the
administration now believe that this choosing of Beijing will make the
situation better concerning human rights and religious rights in
DR. RICE: Well, I think that we understand
that this was a decision for the IOC to take. As we've said,
this is an IOC decision, it's now been made. I think what we
do know is that American athletes are going to go there and they're
going to compete and, hopefully, compete very well and bring home lots
of gold medals.
Now, as to human rights in China and the
agenda for human rights and our bilateral relationship with China, the
President has made very clear that human rights will be on the
agenda. He talked, when he talked to President Jiang Zemin
the other day, about the cases of these American citizens and permanent
residents and the importance of transparency, the importance of
humanitarian considerations. And he will continue to do
that. We have a human rights agenda with China. I
think the Chinese expect it and we'll continue to pursue that in our
Q The President is
going to go to Chequers at a time where in Belfast they have had a
significant amount of bloodshed, last night. He said that
achieving peace in Northern Ireland is a matter of national security
for the U.S. Is he thinking of doing anything personally in
the next few days to try and cobble something together?
DR. RICE: The President, about
a week ago, called both Bertie Ahern and Prime Minister Blair to say
that he was watching the situation very closely; that he was supportive
of what they were trying to do.
Right now, the two of them have intervened
again in a rather aggressive way to try and get the Good Friday
agreement back on track.
I think that the President believes at
this point that this is exactly what the United States should be
doing. Richard Haass, who is, of course, the person who has
responsibility for this, is working on the issue. I know
that he talks to people about the issue all the time.
The United States stands ready, of course,
to help when we can, or when it is thought that we could do something
helpful. Clearly, he will want to discuss with Prime
Minister Blair whether there is more that we can do to be helpful.
Q Digressing again
on another topic. Argentina's economy is in desperate
shape. Is this something that will come up at the G-8,
particularly in terms of debt relief? And is the U.S., at
this point, committed to doing anything to help the Argentineans bail
out their economy?
DR. RICE: Well, I think that --
clearly, we're monitoring the situation very, very
carefully. And I should note that a number of Treasury
officials are in contact with their counterparts and Secretary O'Neill
has been in contact with Finance Minister Cavallo.
The President, you may also know, sent a
letter to President de la Rua. What we're taking note of at
this point is that Argentina is trying to take some steps to deal with
its financial and economic situation; that that is really the best
course of action. And we certainly hope that they can find a
way to deal with the financial -- the basic and fundamental financial
issues and fiscal issues that they're dealing with.
Q Some political
analysts and leaders in Latin America are talking about that it's too
late for the government of Argentina to try to fix the situation in
their country. And they are having pressure over the IMF and
the United States and saying that it's going to be too late for the
United States to support Argentina with a bilateral
package. So are you waiting to have another crisis, or why
the United States is not helping Argentina the way they did with Mexico
DR. RICE: Well, Remember that
Argentina has a program with the IMF, and we're encouraging Argentina
to continue working with the IMF on that program. But the
best course right now is for Argentina to be able to take the steps it
needs to be able to take at home to stabilize the financial
situation. And the President sent to President de la Rua his
concerns and his hopes that Argentina will be able to do that
Q Let me ask you a
couple of questions, if I may. The first goes back to the
discussions between the President and President Putin on the national
missile defense. Secretary Rumsfeld has made clear we will
begin testing at a specific spot in Alaska. At what point do
those tests begin to -- or does that process begin to bump up against
the ABM Treaty?
And on the G-7-8 summit, in general, this
time we're bringing in the leaders of a number of other countries --
Mali, Algeria, South Africa -- there have been calls to increase the
participation to reflect the larger percentage of the world's
population, instead of just the two-thirds or so of the world's
economy. How does the United States feel about that?
DR. RICE: Let's remember that
the origin of the G-7 was the largest industrialized countries dealing
with common economic challenges. And I think that the United
States believes that there is still considerable value in having a
forum in which they can do that. For instance, if they can
talk this time about the need for global economic growth, if they can
talk about the importance of a trade round, it is very useful to have
the largest industrial economies doing that.
When Russia joins the agenda is somewhat
different and it does recognize Russia's political status in the
world. And they can talk about a host of other
issues. I think adding these countries to this agenda -- and
I want to just emphasize that these countries are coming because this
is about poverty alleviation; this is not an attempt to expand the G-8
somehow -- these countries are coming because I think that it is now
generally recognized around the world that the best mechanisms for
countries to get out of poverty and to be able to do something for the
prosperity of their people is to have a global economic system that is
growing, that is trading openly, where these countries can find access
for their goods and markets. And I think you're going to
hear all of those themes sounded.
But it is also understood that there's a
responsibility on the part of the countries themselves to have good
governance, to be able to be transparent enough to attract
investment. And there's an understanding that there's a
mutual responsibility to deal with issues like HIV/AIDS and access to
education, and the like. And so I think that's the reason.
On the ABM Treaty, again, we believe that
the ABM Treaty is very restrictive, and no one can answer specifically
what might do what, because the question we're answering -- we're
trying to answer is, what's the most effective way to move to limited
missile defenses. There are a lot of restrictions in the ABM
Treaty that will keep you from testing components together in a way
that gives you an answer to that question. And so our job
now is to work on a transition with the Russians from the old system
that we've been in that is restrictive and will keep us from responding
to the new threats, to a new strategic framework. And that's
what we're going to get about doing.
Q -- if there are
problems with just testing the sea-based system. Do we also feel that
testing a system, or creating a test site on land that could eventually
be a site that's definitely in violation is okay until it becomes a
DR. RICE: That's not how we're
thinking about this. We're thinking about this as trying to
move from the restrictive framework in which we find ourselves, which
is the ABM Treaty -- which is, I repeat, was intended to keep you from
building ballistic missile defenses, so it's not surprising that it's
restrictive -- moving from that framework to one that makes sense for
this period of time.
And so this is not about lining in, lining
out the ABM Treaty to try to get a little bit of flexibility to do this
test or that test. We really believe that it's time for a
transformation of this relationship. And that's what we're
working with our allies on, working with the Russians on, and it's what
Paul Wolfowitz testified with the Congress about.
Q Sorry to make you
jump around. But if you could just clarify what you said
about Argentina. It means that you don't support their
request for a $15 billion line of credit from the U.S., but you would
support a $5 billion IMF package? And secondly, I have a
separate question on the UK.
DR. RICE: You'll get one,
sure. I'll answer that first before the UK.
The Argentines have an IMF program that
they're working, and that's what we're asking them, to work with the
IMF on that program.
The important thing right now is to keep
the focus on what the Argentines are focused on, which is trying to
deal with the changes that they need to make in order to right and
stabilize the financial and fiscal situation there. And
that's what everybody is focused on right now.
You had a Britain question?
Q Do you expect the
President to raise with Prime Minister Blair any Open Skies issues or
any sort of issues related to Heathrow Airport and access for American
DR. RICE: They may talk about
just about anything. It's not clear to me that that would
Q Do you know the
status of the joint early warning center in Moscow, and do you know if
we have any U.S. officials there right now? And have
discussions regarding that been strained at all with discussing the ABM
DR. RICE: In fact, we think
this joint early warning center is an opportunity to put into practice
some of the notions that we have about
cooperation. Obviously, nobody wants Russia or the United
States to react to a warning mistake. And we believe that
this has great promise.
Now, it has had some trouble getting off
the ground because of a number of legal and other issues that we need
to resolve with the Russians, but I hope that the Presidents could
perhaps give a little bit of a push to getting some of the issues
resolved so that this could become one of the elements of a cooperative
missile defense program.
Q Dr. Rice, by next
Tuesday, President Bush is going to have to decide on
Helms-Burton. Are you concerned that if he should decide to
go ahead and let the lawsuits go forward that might cast another shadow
over the upcoming summit, because that would cause European nations to
react angrily to the prospect of lawsuits?
DR. RICE: The President has
made clear a couple of things, and that is that he very much wants to
have a policy toward Cuba that he believes is reflective of the
situation in Cuba. And so he said that he wants to keep the
sanctions regime in place, he said that he wants to do some things, as
he said, on Cuban Independence Day to try and make it possible for the
Cuban people to begin to express themselves, including doing something
about Radio and TV Marti and so forth.
We'll have to consider
Helms-Burton. He has not yet made a decision. But I think
that the context and -- whatever he does, the context just needs to be
kept in mind here, which is the President fundamentally believes that
until there is a change in regime in Cuba, until you have a regime that
will permit free elections in Cuba, the United States clearly wants to
have policies that reflect what is really happening to the Cuban
people. But he has not made a determination on Helms-Burton
Q Dr. Rice, back on
the ABM Treaty, what's in it for the Russians to allow us to, as you
put it, go into this transformation -- there doesn't appear to be any
intention on their part to build a sea-based system or a space-based
system. So when the President meets with Mr. Putin, what do
we give them that convinces them to let us do this?
DR. RICE: I would put this in
the following way. We're talking about a transformation of
the relationship. And in that, there is a lot for the
Russians. To move from a relationship that was one of
hostility with the Soviet Union, strained, abnormal, where the
centerpiece was about how many warheads could dance on the head of an
SS-18, to a relationship that looks, for instance, at broad economic
cooperation, that looks at broad cooperation on security matters of
common interest and, frankly, that gets the nuclear postures to
something that is more in accordance with what we ought to be doing.
Just to give you an example, we are both
keeping right now thousands of offensive warheads that we probably do
not need. It's expensive, and for Russian defense dollars --
which are meager, to say the least -- and where they have other
problems, to do that because you're trying to, in a sense, keep in a
tightly-regulated bilateral relationship with the United States, makes
The Russians face a number of problems if
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile
technologies go to areas that are hostile to Russia, a number of which
are on their borders, they're going to have some very serious
problems. So we have a big, cooperative, important set of
relations that we need to engage with, and the Russians, like normal
We need not to be so focused on continuing
to manage our mutual balance of terror. And I think that's
what the President is saying to them. What he's saying is,
let's leave this behind. That's from an old
relationship. Let's move both on the security framework and
in the broad relationship, but especially in the broad relationship, to
something that makes sense for two countries that are not enemies and
have far different problems now than managing their bilateral nuclear
terror. And we're hoping to have the Russians see that.
I should just add, nothing, as President
Putin, himself, said, nothing that the United States is thinking of
doing is going to actually threaten the Russian
deterrent. So in many ways, this is a no-lose proposition
Q Dr. Rice, on the
Middle East, if I may, escalation today and Sharon talking about
all-out war. I'm wondering whether the President regards
those comments as helpful in the context of the Mitchell process,
whether he regards the actions on the ground as proportionate to the
threat the Israelis were facing, and what steps, if any, he's taking to
try to moderate at this point?
DR. RICE: Well, we continue to
work the issue through all of the mechanisms that we've put in place
over the last several months. The security talks will
hopefully go on, to try to deal with the near term security problems,
and to try to improve that situation. And George Tenet has
his people continuing over intervals to have security talks.
Secretary Powell is on the phone with the
parties quite frequently. And the point that he is emphasizing is that
it is important that neither side do anything to further inflame the
situation. It is a very delicate situation. He
also makes the point continually that we do need to get about moving
through the Mitchell Committee Report recommendations. We
believe that's the framework, and we're continuing to work within that
And, yes, we talk to the parties all the
time about trying to avoid
any actions that might be provocative and might therefore make the
situation worse. But we talked to both sides about that.
Q Could you broadly
describe the President's views for the purposes of the
G-8? Former Clinton officials have described their approach
as a group that would get together and develop a plan of action and go
out and implement it. And they were speculating that
President Bush may be taking more of an informal kind of approach to
the body. I'd like to hear your views on that.
RICE: Sure. Well, we really don't believe the
world needs another permanent standing organization. There
are a lot of them, and the members of the G-8 are interlocked and
networked in most of those international organizations. And
so what we have resisted is a kind of institutionalization with a large
bureaucracy that tries to carry out whatever decisions and directions
the G-7/G-8 tries to set.
And, rather, we have a view that this is a
place for the leaders to get together to talk about a common agenda, to
set some broad outlines, maybe even some programmatic outlines; but
that there are many partners out there that can carry out a number of
these strategies. You know, the World Bank is there to work
on poverty alleviation. The U.N. General Assembly -- I'm
sorry, the U.N. General Secretariat has taken the lead in establishing
this trust fund, though obviously it has stakeholder not just from the
G-7/G-8 we hope, but from a number of other countries, as well.
So I think -- I don't mean to try and draw
a contrast with how the Clinton people saw this, just to state that for
us, any institutionalization of this, where the G-8 has a large
bureaucracy trying to carry out what the heads of state decided on any
given day, we think would be superfluous, and given the number of
organizations that are already out there, use those.
Q Dr. Rice, on
Russia again, I think the biggest objection to the transition that you
described, to a new strategic framework, is that it entirely depends on
the goodwill of the United States. I think it's legitimate
to want a new defense, a new offense, a new non-proliferation
regime. But the only way to build it that would also build
trust, which is the essential element here, is to do that through
negotiation, to codify the process and the results.
So my question to you, is the United
States willing to codify the process, to negotiate this, to come to new
agreements, in writing, that would be proof to the world that these
steps -- and also if you could speak a little bit about your own trip
to Moscow, what you want to achieve from your meeting there?
DR. RICE: Of
course. On the first point, it's not a question of the
goodwill of the United States -- it's a question of the well being of
all of us. And it is a quite abnormal situation to have
security negotiated in the way that we did with the Soviet Union.
The reason that we negotiated that way
with the Soviet Union was it was an implacably hostile relationship
that was really at most levels zero-sum game. Frankly, we
didn't have that much more to talk about. Almost every -- I can tell
you, I was the Soviet specialist here, and I actually got concurrence
on almost every issue because there was a kind of attitude, I think
here and in Moscow, given the nature of the relationship, that if it
was good for the Soviet Union, it was bad for the United States and
That's why we negotiated every war-head
and every element of our security relationship. It was
regulating a very hostile relationship. This is now a normal
relationship between Russia and the United States where, yes, we will
have some differences, but you know, we have differences with the
British from time to time.
So it's an issue of moving quickly to the
kind of relationship that we think is more appropriate. Now,
there are lots of ways to build transparency into what we do on the
defense side. We are a very open society. You
know, with all due respect to all of you, if we tried to "hide
something" it would show up in one of your papers pretty quickly.
So we're a very transparent
society. But we're also more than prepared to talk to our
counterparts, the Russians, the Chinese, others, about mechanisms to
share information, to let people see what we're doing, to let people
know what we're doing, because the limited defenses that we want to
build, in the context of this new strategic framework, are aimed at
countries that would blackmail us, countries that hate our values,
countries that are try --- that would try to hold us hostage so that we
could not have action, for instance against a Saddam Hussein.
That's not Russia. And so we
believe that it's time to move beyond that framework. We are
open as to the forum that this finally takes, but I can tell you that
we really do believe that it's time to leave behind this really rather
abnormal way of doing business.
Q You didn't answer
his question. Are we willing to negotiate and codify?
DR. RICE: What I've said,
Helen, is there's a good reason not to get into 15-year negotiations,
which is what it has taken to create arms control
treaties. If you've ever looked at arms control treaties,
you're talking about trying to dot every "i" and cross every "t,"
because there was no reason to have any trust in this
relationship. It was implacably hostile and it was abnormal
from the point of view of the way international relations is normally
Q You're saying
it's not necessary.
DR. RICE: I'm saying it's not
necessary, that's correct.
Q On your own
RICE: Oh, my own trip,
sorry. Yes, as you know, a number of my counterparts have
visited here, including my then counterpart Sergei Ivanov. I
am going to go to Russia. I haven't actually been in a
little over a year. I think it's a good time to go, to talk
to my counterparts, to talk to some members of the Russian leadership
about how we can advance the agenda. But it's a very --
unfortunately, a very short trip. But I think it will just
give me a chance to get a feel for it.
Q What message will
the President take to the G-8 regarding the Kyoto protocol, in light of
the Bonn summit going on at the same time?
DR. RICE: The President will be
more than happy to discuss climate change at the G-7/G-8. He
believes that he's made clear that we do not think that the Kyoto
protocol is the way to go forward, but that he is absolutely committed
to the overall objectives of Kyoto, which is to try to do something
about the climate change problem.
We have a number of initiatives that he
laid out before he left for Europe that are starting to move through
the system. I think we will probably be able to say
something about where some of those stand. And he wants to
continue the conversation that he started in Europe the last time,
about mechanisms for cooperation, ways that we might cooperate to
advance the concern that we all have about the climate change issue.
So I'm sure it will come up. I
should just mention, it's also begun to come up with a number of
developing countries, who are interested in not Kyoto, because for them
this would not keep the link between growth and the environment, but on
how they might make steps on climate management now, so that we don't
have a looming problem down the road.
Q I'm just
wondering, you've met a lot of Russian leaders in your time, Soviet
leaders. What's your personal impression of Vladimir Putin?
How does he compare?
DR. RICE: It's a good
question. I found -- let me just say, I found the meeting
remarkable. You're right, I have been in a lot of meetings
with Russian leaders. I found it, first of all,
conversational. Not one person gives a monologue and then
the other person gives a monologue. And with all due respect
to prior leaders, I think that was a little bit the way that it went.
And this was conversational, with the two
men talking back and forth. I found it -- the meeting to be quite
straightforward. They didn't try to pull any
punches. There wasn't an effort to try to make the other guy
believe that you believed something when you didn't. But it
was all in a friendly and mutually respectful way. And the
conversations were not philosophical in the grand
sense. Although they did talk some about their joint
interest in history, and so forth, they really talked about pretty
concrete problems on the agenda. And I found it quite
straightforward. It was, in that sense, a very remarkable
Q Did you find him
trustworthy? The President talked about feeling that he was
trustworthy. I'm wondering, your personal impression of him
DR. RICE: The President is
someone who takes people at face value until he's proven
differently. And I think that's really the best way for
people to do this. I found him straightforward. I
believe that he is someone who is deeply concerned about his country
and wants to make it a better place.
What we need to do is to convince Russia
that this broad new relationship that I was describing is going to be a
context in which they can advance that set of goals. We're
saying it's not the 19th century. The way to be a great power in the
21st century is to have an economy that attracts investment; is to have
an economy that's not just an oil producer, but takes advantage of the
creativity of your own people.
Russia should be dominating the
information revolution, given the strength of science and math in
Russia. And we should be saying, the 21st century is a time
in which you have trade relations with your neighbors, you don't
intimidate them. And it's a time where freedoms for your
people -- freedom of the press, freedom of assembly -- go together with
entrepreneurship and creativity to make you a really modern state.
I think that that's a very interesting
conversation to have with Russia, and I think that it's a conversation
to which Mr. Putin is willing to listen.
Q Will Bush accept
his offer to cut nuclear warheads by 10,000?
DR. RICE: The President has
already said that he is going the look at lowering the numbers of
offensive nuclear weapons for the United States to a level that is
consistent with our own security requirements, and doesn't try to get
into a one-to-one match with the Russians.
Q Thank you.
11:08 A.M. EDT