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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 21, 1993


From the beginning of my Administration, I have given my full backing to the historic process of political and economic reform now underway in Russia. I remain convinced that democratic reforms and the transition to a market economy hold the best hope for a better future for the people of Russia.

The actions announced today by President Yeltsin in his address to the Russian people underscore the complexity of the reform process that he is leading. There is no question that President Yeltsin acted in response to a constitutional crisis that had reached a critical impasse and had paralyzed the political process.

As the democratically-elected leader of Russia, President Yeltsin has chosen to allow the people of Russia themselves to resolve this impasse. I believe that the path to elections for a new legislature is ultimately consistent with the democratic and reform course that he has charted.

I called President Yeltsin this afternoon to seek assurances that the difficult choices that he faces will be made in a way that ensures peace, stability and an open political process this autumn. He told me that it is of the utmost importance that the elections he has called be organized and held on a democratic and free basis.

In a democracy, people should finally decide the issues that are at the heart of political and social debate. President Yeltsin has made this choice, and I support him fully. I have confidence in the abiding wisdom of the Russian people to make the right decision regarding their own future.