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Powell Addresses National Newspaper AssociationAired March 23, 2001 - 12:04 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: Powell went on to say that the United States wanted to be good friends with Russia.
We're going to go to him live. He's making some more remarks.
Apparently, we're having some sort of -- there we go.
(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
COLIN POWELL, SECRETARY OF STATE OF THE UNITED STATES: It didn't come up.
On the second point, it didn't come up in my meetings with the vice premier. And I don't think it came up in his meetings with the president.
The situation is that the Chinese asked us, last December, to locate an individual who's missing. We located that individual, made sure that the person is in good health, made the Chinese aware of his presence. And that's as far as I'd like to go on it. This is a matter that belongs in other Cabinet departments, so I think I'll stick to my knitting in the State Department.
With respect to the Russian action, I have received instructions from -- or I have received information from our Embassy in Moscow that the Russians have indicated they'll be taking action. We don't really know the specifics of that yet. They haven't identified anyone or any names yet. So we'll have to wait and see how that plays out.
As far as we're concerned, the action we took the other day was all we are planning in this matter. We will see what the Russians are going to do and what the nature of their action is.
I don't think this really throws this into some new, deep thought. Let me illustrate how broad the relationship is by saying, at the same time all this was unfolding last night, and everybody was writing stories about what's going on and how terrible it's going to be, our space command was working with Russian authorities to make sure we all knew where the Mir was going. And as it flashed across the southern sky last night, it was the United States Space Command, working with Russian technicians in Russia in the republics of Russia, their various installations in Russia, cooperating, as they do all the time on this kind of activity.
This morning when I got word that the Russians were about to take action, I thought it might be appropriate to call our ambassador in Moscow, who is a very old and dear friend of mine, and one of the very best members of the Foreign Service, Ambassador Jim Collins, to just, sort of, talk him through it, knowing that this could cause a lot of consternation within our Embassy. But I couldn't find Jim. I got the deputy chief of mission, and had a good conversation with him.
Ambassador Collins was in a Irkutsk, about to get on the Trans- Siberian Express to take a train ride through Siberia, because he had a long-planned trip of going along the Trans-Siberian and stopping at cities and towns along the way to talk to Russian citizens about America.
So our relationship continues. And we'll see what we can do about isolating this one incident, but we will wait to see the totality of Russian response.
Thank you very much.
MESERVE: Secretary of State Colin Powell making it clear that there is no crisis, in his opinion, in U.S.-Russian relations -- speaking for the National Newspaper Association.
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