President Vladimir Putin: Madam Secretary of State,
It gives me great pleasure to see you here in Moscow. I am very pleased that we have begun working in this format, which we have long been using in our work with other partners, including with NATO members, a format in which the foreign and defence ministers meet on a regular basis to discuss global and bilateral issues, above all security issues. The President of the United States and I had agreed that we would maintain constant contact on these issues and your meetings show that our agreements are being implemented.
I am sure that you have already had the opportunity and will have the chance again to discuss the missile defence issue with your colleagues. As far as I have been informed, you have your own vision of how cooperation in this area should develop, and we welcome this constructive spirit.
The one point I would like to make is that we hope that you will not push ahead with your prior agreements with Eastern European countries while this complex negotiating process continues.
After all, we could decide some day to put missile defence systems on the Moon, but if we concentrate solely on carrying out our own plans we could end up losing the opportunity for reaching an agreement. But we see that our American partners are showing a constructive desire to continue the dialogue and we think this is a very positive signal.
There are also other matters that the President and I discussed. There is, for example, the question of international law guarantees to prevent the proliferation of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction. I would be very grateful if you and your Russian counterparts discuss this matter today too.
Finally, we also discussed earlier the problem of the treaty eliminating intermediate and short-range missiles. This treaty is already 20 years old now. Its only signatories are the United States and Russia, as the successor state to the Soviet Union. Other countries, unlike us, have the right to develop these weapons systems and are doing so successfully. We think that we should work on turning these bilateral Russian-U.S. agreements into global agreements. We need to convince the other members of the international community to take on the same commitments as the United States and the Russian Federation. If we fail to reach this objective I think it will become difficult for us to remain bound by the terms of such agreements when other countries are actively developing these kinds of weapons systems, including countries close to our borders. We therefore hope for understanding from our American colleagues and for active work together in promoting the idea of making these treaties global in scope.
Overall, there are many issues of mutual interest in this sphere that is of great importance and sensitivity not only for us but for the entire world. We are grateful to you for taking this opportunity to come to Moscow to work together.