Clinton-Yeltsin Transcript (3/21/97)
Finland Interested In NATO Role (3/20/97)
Clinton Praises NATO-Russia Pact
President says it will give Russia a voice in, but not a veto over, the defense alliance
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, May 14) -- President Bill Clinton today praised a new agreement between Russia and the NATO military alliance, saying it was a step toward "a peaceful, undivided, democratic Europe for the first time in history." (288K wav sound)
Clinton, who plans to go to Paris later this month to mark the pact's approval, said the agreement calls for Russia and NATO to consult regularly and where they agree, to act together, as in the Bosnia peacekeeping effort.
"Russia will work closely with NATO, but not within NATO, giving Russia a voice in, but not a veto over, NATO's business," Clinton said. (352K wav sound)
While Russia still objects to the imminent expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the new agreement clears the way for NATO to invite Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic to join the alliance as its first new members.
Clinton told reporters that Russia has nothing to fear from an expanded NATO, and he wants to continue to work to redefine NATO's mission in a post-Cold War world. (224K wav sound)
"A democratic, free, non-aggressive ... Russia, is not threatened by an expanded NATO," Clinton said.
With Clinton was Vice President Al Gore, Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Defense Secretary William Cohen and National Security Adviser Sandy Berger.
NATO's governing council is expected to approve the partnership agreement this week, and Clinton said he believes that Congress would approve the NATO expansion and the cooperative agreement with Russia.
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