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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2003 > May

Press Availability with Russian President Vladimir Putin

Secretary Colin L. Powell
The Kremlin
Moscow, Russia
May 14, 2003

(As Translated)
PRESIDENT PUTIN:
Dear colleagues, let me welcome you to Moscow. Iím sincerely glad to see you. Before we proceed to our discussion, I think we could congratulate each other on the fact that first you in the United States successfully ratified the treaty on strategic offensive reductions, and today, as you might know, the State Duma also reciprocated and ratified the treaty. And, that was done in a very convincing way, I think, 294 members of the parliament voted for it. I believe your visit to be very timely. I think this meeting gives us a good opportunity to synchronize our watches before the upcoming summit meeting with President Bush at the end of May in St. Petersburg. Of course, we have had a lot of argument recently concerning the Iraq problem, but we have successfully overcome those differences and we succeeded in maintaining the basic foundation of our bilateral relationship and I hope that the upcoming meeting with President Bush will give a further impetus to the successful development, across the board development, of our bilateral relations in all areas. You have just completed a very important, very responsible, mission to the Middle East and therefore we would be interested in discussing this topic with you. We have again been confronted with manifestations of terrorism, the recent terrorist attack in Saudi Arabia and two terrorist acts in Chechnya, the latest has taken place today. We have a lot of matters, a lot of questions to address and deal with together concerning Afghanistan, also concerning the problem of non-proliferation, and with pleasure we would like to exchange with you information with you on the problem of North Korea. And, also our Ministers for agriculture, for energy, for nuclear power development recently met and I think our bilateral relations in those areas are developing positively.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much Mr. President for your warm welcome. Itís a pleasure to be back here in Moscow to see you again. And, Iím pleased to bring you greetings from President Bush and he is looking very much forward to seeing you in St. Petersburg. I cannot tell you, sir, what a deep sense of satisfaction I feel to be here in Moscow on the day the Duma ratified the treaty. Igor was late coming for our meeting because he was at the Duma, but I forgive him. This agreement, I think Mr. President, demonstrates the strength of our bilateral relationship. The exchange of visits that you just made reference to with our agricultural ministers, our energy ministers, and so many of our other ministers going back and forth talking to one another, I think illustrates the strength and the depth of our bilateral relationship. We have had disagreements in the recent past especially with respect to Iraq, but now I think we have the opportunity to move forward and all of us join together to help the Iraqi people to a better life. And I look forward to discussing all the issues you raised with respect to the Middle East and North Korea, on non-proliferation, as well as bilateral trade issues. So, thank you for your welcome, Mr. President.


Released on May 14, 2003

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