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U.S. - Russia Continue to Discuss MD

Posted June. 17, 2001 09:51,   


President George W. Bush of the U.S. and President Vladimir Putin of Russia agreed to continue to discuss the pending issues of security, including the missile defense (MD) system, at the level of related ministries as well as experts of both countries Saturday.

After a summit talk, held at the old castle Brdo adjacent to Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia, the two presidents ordered that Secretary of State Colin L. Powell and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld would begin a series of meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov and Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov aimed at devising what Bush called a "new security framework."

The two leaders also revived the idea that the U.S.-Russia relationship could become one of "partners," they did not come up to an agreement on the sensitive issues such as the expansion of NATO.

At the summit talk, President Bush insisted that the MD system is necessary to protect against missile launches from `depraved` countries, whereas President Putin opposed to the MD system saying that any unilateral actions can only make the relationship between the two countries worse. This is the first summit talk between Bush and Putin. At a news conference after the meeting, President Bush said that ``I`m convinced that Russia can be a strong partner and friend; more so than people could imagine.`` He said that "Putin is an honest and trustworthy.``

President Putin said that ``although the different positions of the two countries would not be resolved within a short term, I hope that constructive dialogues will continue.`` President asked President Putin to visit his ranch in Texas, and President Putin also invited President Bush to Moscow. President Bush announced that he would dispatch Treasury Secretary Paul H. O`Neill and Commerce Secretary Donald L. Evans to Russia in search of closer economic ties. [Ljubljana foreign news]