THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
|For Immediate Release
|June 20, 1997
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON
AND PRESIDENT YELTSIN
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The Brown Palace Hotel
1:03 P.M. MDT
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: Thank you for your hospitality,for the wonderful hotel and accommodations.
Q President Yeltsin, if we may, we understand theUnited States and Britain are looking for help on a resolution onIraq with the United Nations that's being discussed. Is Russiaat least willing to promise not to veto the resolution?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: I'm prepared to block my answerto your question. (Laughter.)
Q Mr. President, will the United States supportexpansion of the G-7 to a G-8 to include Russia?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, Russia is fully included. This is the first time we've ever had a meeting where theRussians were here from the beginning to the end. And we alsohave another happy development today -- when we were in HelsinkiI pledged to President Yeltsin that I would do my best to seeRussia be admitted into the Paris Club within the year, andRussia and the Paris Club have just completed their negotiations,which means that now Russia will be a partner with the othermembers in trying to help promote the global economic growth byrelieving the burden of the debt on developing questions that --So what you see here is a sweeping -- Russia into the majordecision-making networks in the world in a way that is verypositive for the rest of us.
And I must say, since -- in the last five years, asRussia participation has steadily increased here, we have seenthe agenda of this group broaden dramatically, and because Russiais a partner we can talk about, for example, what we can dotogether to prevent the inappropriate spread of nuclear materialsand we can work together on a whole range of other options.
So I'm very positive about this and very pleasedwith this summit and pleased with the emergence of Russia as aleader in all these world institutions. It's a great tribute Ithink to President Yeltsin's leadership and to the commitment ofthe Russian people to democracy and reform.
Q Mr. President, is there a tobacco settlement? Are you happy with it?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't believe it's been announcedyet. I don't know that a settlement has been reached.
Q But you've been briefed, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I've been generally briefedthat they're approaching a settlement. But if a settlement, infact, is announced today, then I'll make a statement about it. Until there is I don't want to make a statement.
Q Would you intervene if there's a problem overregulation? What is your feelings --
THE PRESIDENT: Let's wait and see if they reach anagreement. If there is an agreement I'll make a statement. Idon't know that there is one.
Q (Asked in Russian.)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me say that until you askedthat question, no one had ever suggested to me that there wouldever be a time when Russia would not be a full partner in thisGroup of 8.
Let me just remind you that over the last few years,as the participation of Russia in this group has grown to thismoment, when for the first time we are here together frombeginning to end and participating in only one press conferencetogether and speaking with one voice -- and as I'm sure youprobably know, Russia has reached an agreement to join the ParisClub -- it has enabled this body to go from a purely economicfocus to deal with the common challenges that we have in theworld we're about to enter and the one we face today.
For example, the work we're doing in nuclearcooperation would be impossible if Russia were not our partnerhere. And there are many other things that we're going to dotogether. So I think that this is a cause for celebration notonly in Russia, but in the other countries here.
Let me just say one final thing. I consider thisday and all these things that are happening that are positive atribute, first of all, to the support of the Russian people fordemocracy and reform, and second, to the unusual combination ofvision and persistence that President Yeltsin has displayed overso many years. It's quite a hopeful moment for the world, Ithink, and I give him a lot of credit.
THE PRESS: Thank you.