THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release June 20, 1997 1:03 P.M. MDT
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT CLINTON
AND PRESIDENT YELTSIN
IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
The Brown Palace Hotel
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: Thank you for your hospitality, for the wonderful hotel and accommodations.
Q President Yeltsin, if we may, we understand the United States and Britain are looking for help on a resolution on Iraq with the United Nations that's being discussed. Is Russia at least willing to promise not to veto the resolution?
PRESIDENT YELTSIN: I'm prepared to block my answer to your question. (Laughter.)
Q Mr. President, will the United States support expansion 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 the Russians were here from the beginning to the end. And we also have another happy development today -- when we were in Helsinki I pledged to President Yeltsin that I would do my best to see Russia be admitted into the Paris Club within the year, and Russia and the Paris Club have just completed their negotiations, which means that now Russia will be a partner with the other members in trying to help promote the global economic growth by relieving the burden of the debt on developing questions that -- So what you see here is a sweeping -- Russia into the major decision-making networks in the world in a way that is very positive for the rest of us.
And I must say, since -- in the last five years, as Russia participation has steadily increased here, we have seen the agenda of this group broaden dramatically, and because Russia is a partner we can talk about, for example, what we can do together to prevent the inappropriate spread of nuclear materials and we can work together on a whole range of other options.
So I'm very positive about this and very pleased with this summit and pleased with the emergence of Russia as a leader in all these world institutions. It's a great tribute I think to President Yeltsin's leadership and to the commitment of the 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 announced yet. I don't know that a settlement has been reached.
Q But you've been briefed, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, I've been generally briefed that they're approaching a settlement. But if a settlement, in fact, 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 over regulation? What is your feelings --
THE PRESIDENT: Let's wait and see if they reach an agreement. If there is an agreement I'll make a statement. I don't know that there is one.
Q (Asked in Russian.)
PRESIDENT CLINTON: Let me say that until you asked that question, no one had ever suggested to me that there would ever be a time when Russia would not be a full partner in this Group of 8.
Let me just remind you that over the last few years, as the participation of Russia in this group has grown to this moment, when for the first time we are here together from beginning to end and participating in only one press conference together and speaking with one voice -- and as I'm sure you probably know, Russia has reached an agreement to join the Paris Club -- it has enabled this body to go from a purely economic focus to deal with the common challenges that we have in the world we're about to enter and the one we face today.
For example, the work we're doing in nuclear cooperation would be impossible if Russia were not our partner here. And there are many other things that we're going to do together. So I think that this is a cause for celebration not only in Russia, but in the other countries here.
Let me just say one final thing. I consider this day and all these things that are happening that are positive a tribute, first of all, to the support of the Russian people for democracy and reform, and second, to the unusual combination of vision and persistence that President Yeltsin has displayed over so many years. It's quite a hopeful moment for the world, I think, and I give him a lot of credit.
THE PRESS: Thank you.