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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 13, 1993
                    ON THE ELECTIONS IN RUSSIA

The United States congratulates the Russian government and people on yesterday's historic elections. December 12 was an important day in the evolution of Russia's democratic system. The elections were organized and conducted in a peaceful and orderly fashion. Observers are reporting no irregularities in the voting. The image of millions of Russians going to the polls to determine their future is a dramatic example of the substantial progress they have made in building a democratic future in the two years since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

By approving a new constitution and voting for a new legislature, the Russian people have eliminated the last vestiges of the old Soviet system and replaced them with new and legitimate institutions that will lay a foundation for continued development of a democratic society. The United States and the international community have a major interest in seeing this process succeed.

In the days ahead, the votes in the Parliamentary elections will be counted and the new Federal Assembly will begin preparations for its inaugural session. It is too early to know the results of that election or the composition of the Assembly. President Yeltsin has stated his readiness to begin a constructive dialogue with the varied political forces that will be represented in it. We hope that this sentiment will be reciprocated by all responsible political figures in Russia.

As Russia moves into a new era and as democratic institutions continue to develop, the United States will continue its strong support of political and economic reform. The President looks forward to his visit to Moscow in January and discussions with President Yeltsin and other political figures on how the United States can continue to build a partnership with Russia. Vice President Gore will arrive in Moscow tomorrow evening and will underscore personally in his discussions with Russian leaders the strength of American support for democracy and economic reform.

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