25 May 2002
Transcript: Bush, Putin at Hermitage, State Concern over India-Pakistan
(May 25, St. Petersburg: discuss summit, India-Pakistan tensions)
President Bush and Russian President Vladimir Putin say they are
satisfied with the results of their summit in Moscow and St.
Petersburg, including the signing of a strategic arms reduction treaty
and a joint declaration on the new U.S.-Russians relationship, as well
as the opportunity to strengthen their personal relations.
Speaking to reporters at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg during
a joint photo opportunity May 25, the two leaders also answered
questions about the tensions between India and Pakistan and described
the diplomatic efforts being undertaken to calm the situation.
"We're making it very clear to both parties that there is ... no
benefit of a clash that could eventually lead to a broader war. We're
deeply concerned about the rhetoric," Bush said.
It is very important for Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to "stop
the incursions across the line -- the line of control. It's important
that the Indians know that he is going to fulfill that promise," Bush
Putin pointed out that an international conference is planned for
early June in Kazakhstan, "where both President Musharraf and [Indian]
Prime Minister Vajpayee have been invited."
Pakistan's test of a Ghauri surface-to-surface missile "while there is
escalating tension really aggravates the situation, and Russia is
concerned and sorry about that," Putin added. "And we shall be working
together to take steps in order to prevent the escalation of the
Bush mentioned his visit to the St. Petersburg Cemetery, where the
tour guide spoke about peace "and how it was important for everybody
who walked those hallowed grounds to remember the ravages of war and
to remember the importance of peace.
"And I explained to her that this visit was a visit of peace, where we
cast aside the old ways of suspicion and now embrace peace."
He also thanked President and Mrs. Putin for their "magnificent"
Following is the White House transcript of the photo opportunity:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
(St. Petersburg, Russia)
May 25, 2002
REMARKS BY PRESIDENT BUSH AND PRESIDENT PUTIN IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY
St. Petersburg, Russia
1:05 P.M. (L)
Q: Mr. President, allow me to ask you -- (inaudible) -- summarize
results of your -- (inaudible). And the second part of that question,
the expectation of the Moscow summit -- how do you think --
PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, first, the hospitality has been magnificent. The
time we spent last night with the Putins in their beautiful home was
very relaxing for Laura and me. It gave us a great chance to see how
the Putins live, a very good sense of their values. I think the thing
that struck me the most was how they have raised their daughters.
They've got two beautiful daughters, who are incredibly talented young
ladies. It is clear their mom and dad love them a lot, and that was
impressive to Laura and me.
The other good piece of news is I got to go actually run outside --
(laughter) -- which is a difficult thing for me to do when I'm on the
road and in Washington, as well. I ran on beautiful grounds, it's such
a spectacular piece of property. And then we had a wonderful breakfast
-- special Russian foods. It's been a wonderful, relaxing experience.
I was very touched that the President took time yesterday, after going
to the Kremlin -- after going to Red Square, to take us to his office.
And I thought it was a great personal touch, that was important to see
the private side of this man's life. It meant a lot.
Secondly, I think the summit was -- met expectations, it met my
expectations. I hope it met the President's expectations. We not only
signed a very important treaty, we signed a -- you know, a very
important protocol of how our relations ought to go forward and I'm
really glad that -- I'm glad that all the hard work on both sides has
paid off. And this will be good for the Russian people; this agreement
will be good for the people of Russia and it'll be good for the people
You know, at the St. Petersburg Cemetery today, the lady who gave us a
tour spoke about peace and how it was important for everybody who
walked those hallowed grounds to remember the ravages of war and to
remember the importance of peace. And I explained to her that this
visit was a visit of peace, where we cast aside the old ways of
suspicion and now embrace peace.
Sorry about the interpreter. (Laughter.)
Q: -- interpretation.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Okay. Well, good luck. (Laughter.)
Q: (Asked in Russian.)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: As far as the staying of Mr. President and his wife
in our home yesterday, I would like you to know two things. For one
thing, our personal relations to have been greatly strengthened.
They're very happy to know that I'm dealing with very honest and
upward and straight people. That is one.
And then there is something else, which is by no means a political
thing. Yesterday, when we had our dinner and I was treating my guests
of course to the Russian caviar, and I told him how some of the caviar
is produced. The experts would take the fish and open up the fish and
then take the caviar and then throw out the fish again and throw it
back into the water. (Laughter.) Everybody was laughing -- thinking
that I was really inventing things on the spot, something really
improbable. (Laughter.) But I was trying to convince them -- I was
really trying to tell them that I was telling the truth, that's how we
treated the environment. (Laughter.)
The Secretary of State, the Russian Foreign Minister, Dr. Rice, Mr.
Ivanov, and also both wives -- my wife and Mr. President's wife -- all
laughed at me. And there was only one person who wouldn't laugh and
said, "I do believe you, Mr. President," and that was the President of
the United States. (Laughter.) And I want to confirm it here and now,
that's the truth, ladies and gentlemen. (Laughter.)
And one more thing. The dinner, the supper was over somewhere around
midnight, because we were supposed to go to St. Petersburg early in
the morning. Of course, we got up very early, we didn't have enough
sleep this morning. And when last night, before going to bed, Mr.
President told me that he would be jogging in the morning, I wouldn't
believe him. (Laughter.) But he was doing that, just that.
Well, on a serious note, as far as the results of this visit are
concerned, I would like to say that myself and my experts, all my
experts, we have been discussing the results of the visit this morning
and we have officially agreed that we are satisfied and all the goals
of this visit have been achieved.
I thank you.
PRESIDENT BUSH: One question, Ron, go ahead.
Q: If I could ask you real quickly, sir. Is there anything personal
you can do to ease tensions between Pakistan and India? And do you
think President Musharraf is doing enough to crack down on terrorism
PRESIDENT BUSH: We are spending a lot of time on this subject -- "we"
being the administration. And we're making it very clear to both
parties that there is -- there's no benefit of a war, there's no
benefit of a clash that could eventually lead to a broader war.
We're deeply concerned about the rhetoric. It is very important for
President Musharraf to stop -- do what he said he's going to do to in
his speech on terror, and that is stop the incursions across the line
-- the line of control. It's important that the Indians know that he
is going to fulfill that promise.
Vladimir and I have talked about this and he's got -- he, as well as
the United States and Great Britain and other countries have got
influence in the region, and he is going to meet soon at a conference
where we believe Prime Minister Vajpayee and President Musharraf will
both be attending.
My point is, is that there's a lot of diplomatic efforts going into
bringing some calm and reason to the region.
PRESIDENT PUTIN: An international event is planned for the early June,
this year, in Kazakhstan, where both President Musharraf and Prime
Minister Vajpayee have been invited. I do hope they will come and
there would be an opportunity for us to discuss things. And we have
covered that ground with the President of the United States.
Of course, the testing while there is escalating tension really
aggravates the situation, and Russia is concerned and sorry about
that. I'm sorry about that. And we shall be working together to take
steps in order to prevent the escalation of the conflict.
PRESIDENT BUSH: Thank you, all.
Q: (Asked in Russian.)
PRESIDENT PUTIN: -- some people believe, particularly in Europe, that
in the United States people give less attention to the matters
artistic and they give attention -- less, at least -- than in Europe.
My dealings with your President and his wife have demonstrated to me
that this is a very deep mistake.
END 1:20 P.M. (L)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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