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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 7, 1993


President Clinton spoke by phone today with President Boris Yeltsin of Russia for about 40 minutes to discuss several bilateral and foreign policy issues.

President Clinton reiterated strong U.S. support for Russian political and market reform and the work of President Yeltsin and the Russian government to keep those reforms on track. They discussed the status of existing and prospective U.S. assistance for the reform process.

The President agreed that last week's meeting in Washington of the Joint Commission on Energy and Space, led by Vice President Gore and Russian Prime Minister Chernomyrdin, was a great success. They also agreed on the need for further progress, particularly on a number of U.S. private sector energy investment projects.

Turning to the Middle East, the Presidents welcomed the historic progress in negotiations between Israel and the PLO in recent weeks and pledged to work together to promote peace in the Middle East region.

On other foreign policy issues, President Yeltsin briefed the President on his recent trip to Ukraine. President Clinton welcomed the progress achieved by President Yeltsin and President Kravchuk, particularly regarding the nuclear weapons now deployed in Ukraine. The President affirmed U.S. interest in working with both parties to assist in the resolution of outstanding issues.

The President congratulated President Yeltsin on the withdrawal of Russian forces from Lithuania last week and reaffirmed U.S. support for a rapid and complete withdrawal of forces from Latvia and Estonia. The two leaders also discussed their support for the ongoing effort to promote peace in Bosnia.

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