Press Briefing by The National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley

SOCHI, Russia , April 6, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by The National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley . 6:51 A.M. EDT MR. HADLEY: This has been a fascinating trip and a very...


SOCHI, Russia , April 6, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The following is a transcript of remarks by The National Security Advisor, Stephen Hadley .

6:51 A.M. EDT

MR. HADLEY: This has been a fascinating trip and a very successful trip, from a couple dimensions. One, we have a situation where in the same trip both the NATO Alliance at the summit in Bucharest , and President Putin in the strategic framework that was adopted today here in Sochi, and in his comments which were very interesting during the press conference, you have both now the NATO Alliance and the Russian Federation signed on to pursuing missile defense.

We have been trying to engage the Alliance and Russia in missile defense now for about 15 years, and it has finally all come together today. And you have -- in some sense, the willingness of NATO to go along and work missile defense was enhanced by the fact that they knew we were talking to the Russians about bringing the Russians into cooperation on missile defense, which we were able to nail down today.

And you have the Russians indicating today that they are prepared to participate in missile defense not only with the United States , but as part of the NATO-Russia dialogue. So it has all come together, finally.

Now, a lot more to be done. What did we get? We got both Russia and NATO now recognizing the threat. We have Russia making clear that it is willing to join with the United States in developing a system for defending against ballistic missiles in which the United States , Russia and Europe would participate as equal partners. And we have NATO willing to concede that the Czech and Polish installations that we are pursuing should be part of that system, and developing options which they'll review in 2009 to develop the other elements of a missile defense architecture.

I thought it was very interesting, even going beyond the regional aspect, that Putin, of his own today -- President Putin -- raised the prospect of cooperation between the United States and Russia on global missile defense. This is something that he offered.

And it really picks up on something he said at Kennebunkport last July or August, when he said that missile defense could be an area of strategic cooperation between the United States and Russia . I think a lot of people discounted that at the time. I think it came to fruition today. A lot of work to be done. As we know, there's a lot of work to be done on transparency and confidence building measures that will give Russia assurance that when agreed and implemented, that what's going on in the Czech Republic and Poland is not aimed at Russia . We've got work to do there.

We obviously have more work to do in NATO, in terms of developing options and bringing people further along. But I think we've made a lot of progress today at bringing both NATO and Russia onto the page of missile defense.

Second, a lot of people thought that going into this trip there would be a question about NATO's commitment to Afghanistan . And I think if you look at what was said and done and announced in connection with the NATO summit in Bucharest , you have a recommitment of NATO to that mission, a recognition of its importance not only to the future of NATO, but also for the security of all of us in the NATO Alliance, and a stepping up of a number of countries to start doing more.

It's not enough. We're going to be dealing with this problem for years to come. But it's a recommitment, an adoption of a vision and a willingness to try and explain this mission better to people in Europe and in the United States ; to make a greater commitment to it, and to do an effort now to streamline the command structure on the civilian side, get it more organized, and develop the kind of integrated civil-military plan we needed to succeed.

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