Tags: Bush | Putin | Meet | June

Bush, Putin to Meet in June

Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM

Powell said Bush and Putin will meet either on the afternoon of June 16 or the morning of June 17, when Bush is scheduled to be in Europe for meetings with leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Bush will also visit Spain, Poland and other countries on what will be his third trip overseas as president. Since taking office, Bush has been to Canada and Mexico.

Powell made the announcement at the White House after meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov, who delivered a letter from Putin to Bush.

"This letter expresses a readiness and desire of the leaders of the Russian Federation to pursue and continue a constructive dialogue with the United States," Ivanov told reporters as he left the West Wing.

"The president of the United States has stressed that he is prepared to continue cooperation and dialogue with the Russian Federation, and together we are prepared to lay a foundation for a more secure future for the entire world," Ivanov said. "The president of Russia fully shares such an approach."

Slovenia is slated to be part of the next round of NATO expansion, a move opposed by Moscow. Mary Ellen Countryman, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council, denied that Ljubljana was suggested by the United States as a place for Bush and Putin's meeting as signal to Moscow of NATO's resolve to continue expansion. She said, "It was convenient for both."

Meanwhile, in Washington, Ivanov and Powell completed the first round of negotiations Friday on possible modifications to the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty. The ABM treaty would need to be amended or abandoned to carry out Bush's national missile defense system.

"As of now, I would like to tell you the atmosphere, the environment of our talks is very constructive -- the kind of environment which will enable us to discuss objectively and positively all issues on our agenda," Ivanov told reporters.

On May 1, Bush outlined his vision for a non-proliferation agenda, pledging to pursue cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, but also declaring, "We leave behind the constraints of an ABM Treaty that perpetuates a relationship based on distrust and mutual vulnerability." He sent teams of top foreign policy advisers to Asia and Europe for consultations on the new policy framework.

The 1972 ABM Treaty, a pact between the United States and the Soviet Union, allows missile defense systems to be deployed at two sites -- one to protect either nation's capital and another at a launch area for intercontinental ballistic missiles. It specifically limits U.S. and Russian missile defense systems to no more than 100 launchers and interceptors at either site.

The treaty also pledges Moscow and Washington not to "develop, test, or deploy ABM systems or components which are sea-based, air-based, space-based or mobile land-based." At the same time, the treaty allows for the two sides to discuss new technologies developed that may not be covered by the agreement.

On Monday, Powell said in an interview with CNN, "We have a treaty with Moscow, and they have all the rights embedded in a treaty to stay with it or abrogate it, and we have the same rights. And so what we want to do is speak to the Russians about how we can move to a strategic framework, which might a framework, might be another treaty."

Article XV of the ABM treaty gives the United States the right to withdraw from the treaty if "extraordinary events" threaten its "supreme interests," provided it gives the Russians six months' notice.

Last week, Russia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Yakovenko said, "The United States has been unable to give us arguments to convince (Russia) that they see clearly how to solve the problems of international security without damaging the arms-control agreements established over the past 30 years."

Ivanov was to meet Friday with House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., the U.S. Senate leadership, Bush and his national security adviser, Condoleeza Rice, before returning to the State Department for more talks with Powell.

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Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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Powell said Bush and Putin will meet either on the afternoon of June 16 or the morning of June 17, when Bush is scheduled to be in Europe for meetings with leaders from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Bush will also visit Spain, Poland and other countries on what...
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2001-00-18
Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM
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