THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Warsaw, Poland)
BACKGROUND BRIEFING BY SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL July 6, 1994 The Presidential Palace Warsaw, Poland
8:36 P.M. (L)
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Alright, this is on background.
Q Can you tell us what his answer was on Russia?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Whose answer? Walesa's?
What I heard -- I was distracted for the first part of it. But what I heard was that a democratic free market Russia is a good partner for everybody. And I think this is consistent with the tone of the meeting is that this is -- Walesa emphasized that this is not a question of anti-Russia. But this gets into my major point.
It was a very, very good meeting. Most of the discussion focused on economic issues, and they approached the question of the integration of Europe from that direction. That is, President Walesa said, what we want is to be integrated in Europe; and for that to happen, we have to have investment. And that's the context in which he used the generals -- General Motors and General Electric. And he said the purpose is to stimulate investment so it comes here and it helps rebuild countries.
Q So how much are we giving them?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: We're the number -- the United States is the number-one investor in Poland by far; which is something I wouldn't have thought we'd become five years ago. It's over a billion dollars.
Q But he hinted at something else; he said, to ease the pain from the --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Wait, I'll get to that. And it was in this context that the issue of security came up because it's a question of a broader integration of Europe, and making very clear that the road to full integration in Europe is open in an economic sense and a security sense.
So most of the discussion was economic, but it was in this broader context. There was no dispute at all about NATO and membership. In fact, that barely came up during the discussion at all. It was this broader question of integration of Europe and how to do it.
Walesa said, yes, you should do more to support investment. The President agreed and said we have been working on this, thinking about this, and we would have specifics -- some of which will be announced tomorrow.
Q Is he thinking in terms -- while you're on the subject of NATO, is he thinking in terms of calling a NATO summit or a set date, or is this --
Q He said that was the next step.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No, I mean, there's nothing specific.
Q The next time --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There's nothing specific. But to continue --
Q Announced tomorrow at what -- where?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: There was also a good deal of discussion about Ukraine. And both Presidents agreed on the importance of an independent Ukraine and a reformed democratic Ukraine to European stability. There was a lot of agreement about this.
They agreed to continue their discussions over dinner. And as I said, there will be a number of initiatives announced tomorrow.
Finally, the question about easing the pain of transition. Yes, that did come up. This is something that, if you look back at the record in January, the January Prague summit, came up; where we said that reform is essential -- Poland and all the other rapid reformers are doing the right thing. But in any country, there are people that are left behind, and you have to deal with this or else you have a political problem.
Walesa was very articulate on the subject. He said, you have to get to the people that reform hasn't reached. They both agreed that they have been thinking about this, working together with the Poles and there will be a number of ideas announced tomorrow.
Q How about how much money, how much aid?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, that will be for tomorrow.
Q? along the lines of what you talked to us about at the backgrounder back at the White House before we left?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Yes. This is something the two governments have been working on together. But it is concrete, it's not --
Q Did they discuss any specifics?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. They discussed --
Q how the reforms were affecting his political standing --
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: No. He was not talking about politics in that sense, nothing partisan, nothing campaign, nothing at all. It was Poland, the reforms, the road west and how important it is for the region.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END8:46 P.M. (L)