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...


MR. HADLEY: We have talked about, and I'm not sure how much we've said publicly on this, but we have talked about a mechanism by which there can be technical measures, by which the Russians would be able to see, for example, that the radar is focused south, not east or north. And we have also talked about having Russian liaison personnel who could be certified to their embassy and would be able to work at the sites. And that's, of course, if you take those two together, it's a way to try and respond to what President Putin talked about, which is ongoing assurance that this system is what it says it is.

Now, these things still need to be worked out in details, and our President has made clear from the very beginning that they need to be reciprocal and they need to be worked out with the Czechs and the Poles, because they are sovereign states, and their sovereignty needs to be respected. So that's part of the details that need to be worked out.

Q Does that include something more than what you just mentioned, as far as the physical person at the site? Like do they want to hire the scientists, somebody who can monitor it with more --

MR. HADLEY: What I talked about is what we've talked about with the Russians. We've also begun talking about it with the Czechs and the Poles. I'm not saying it's all agreed by all of those parties. There's more work to be done. But that's the concept we're talking about, and it is -- I think that concept, that the Russians have in mind when they say, "if agreed and implemented, it will assuage their concerns." And we think we're making progress here.

Q When you say "confidence building measures," does that refer to some of those examples you just cited?

MR. HADLEY: Yes, some of those examples. But again, it will take time to flesh this out into a regime of experts, how it's going to work, and all the rest.

MS. PERINO: We'll do two more, and let them eat; they're getting ready to eat.

Q Do you think that Putin is really turning over foreign policy to Medvedev, and that he is not going to pay a role in this; that he's going to be silent and just deal with the economy and social issues?

MR. HADLEY: Well, I think you heard him today, and he emphasized that Medvedev had been part of the development of that policy. And I think he sees a lot of continuity in the policy. I think the other thing that's interesting is, my expectation is that Medvedev will also be helping out President Putin, because remember, Medvedev has been very engaged on domestic policy, which will now be Putin's responsibility as Prime Minister. So my guess is that these two men, who have worked very closely together now for almost two decades, will have a very collaborative relationship. That seems to me a good thing, not a bad thing.

Q So the President probably won't pick up the phone and be talking to Mr. Putin anymore after May 7th ?

MR. HADLEY: I think it made very clear -- President Putin made very clear that Medvedev is going to be President of the Russian Federation , and that it is the President responsible for foreign policy, and as he said, that Medvedev will be seeing the President at the G8.

Q Going back to your question about the missile defense, if it happened during the presidency. But all the 2008 candidates have said the Russian election was rigged, and it was unfair; John McCain said it was rigged; Barack Obama said it's unfair, Hillary has made similar comments. So how are you going to -- going forward, how are you going to do that? I mean, it could change in 2009.

MR. HADLEY: I think you can take that position, but I think those candidates, whichever ones becomes President, will find that there are areas in which it is still in our interest to work with Russia on. And one of them will be missile defense. I can't imagine that we're going to stop cooperating with Russia in the six-party talks, or a new administration will stop cooperating with Russia on Iran , or will stop cooperating with Russia on preventing nuclear terrorism, or will stop the cooperation with Russia to provide greater security at nuclear weapons sites in Russia and nuclear materials storage sites in Russia , so that nuclear materials don't fall in the hands of terrorists. I think any U.S. President will come in and decide whatever their policy on the issues you've described, there are still areas where it is in our mutual interest to cooperation and save lives of Americans.

That's it, thank you.