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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release March 7, 1994
                       REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT
                         IN PHOTO OPPORTUNITY 

The Oval Office

12:05 P.M. EST

Q Mr. President, can you tell us whether you or the First Lady were ever briefed after those meetings that have now been brought under question by the special counsel?

THE PRESIDENT: I'm going to have a question and answer session after Chairman Shevardnadze and I have our meeting, and I'll be glad to answer some questions then.

Q Would you answer that question later for us?

THE PRESIDENT: I'll be glad to answer questions, yes.

Q What can you tell us about your meeting today with Mr. Shevardnadze? Are you able to offer more help? Are you concerned about recent developments in Russia and what threat they may provide to his country?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the United States has strongly supported Chairman Shevardnadze and the territorial integrity of Georgia. We've done our best to be good allies, and last year we tried to help with aid and we will do so again this year.

We want to talk a little about what can be done to help with peacekeeping efforts there, and about other matters that affect their destiny in Georgia, including, obviously, events in Russia and other countries in the region. So I've really looked forward to this meeting for a long time. And I have many questions; I'm going to be listening hard today.

Q U.N. troops there? U.N. troops to Georgia?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, we want to talk about that today. We're going to have a visit about that.

Q I'd like to ask the Chairman if he thinks that Russia will go towards the ultranationalists, whether they will prevail over Yeltsin.

VICE PRESIDENT GORE: Can you translate for him?

Q Does Mr. Chairman think that the ultranationalists in Russia will prevail over Yeltsin, over the Yeltsin forces of moderation?

CHAIRMAN SHEVARDNADZE: Well, I think it would be better if I answer this question after I speak with Mr. President.

Q You'll know more then?

Q The putschers now are out of prison and Yeltsinsupporters are probably losing their clout in Russia. Do you think that what was called the Cold War can be repeated?

CHAIRMAN SHEVARDNADZE: They were asking the same question on the plane and in Tbilisi, and I didn't answer then. (Laughter.)

VICE PRESIDENT GORE: Same question the last crew asked. (Laughter.)

THE PRESS: Thank you.

END12:09 P.M. EST