Russian Defense Minister


Secretary of Defense: It is a pleasure for me to welcome Russian Minister of Defense to the Pentagon on this, his first official visit as Minister of Defense of the Russian Federation. Weve had good discussions over the past days. As busy as weve been, I think its worth stopping for a moment to recognize how much US President and President of Russia have accomplished during such a brief period of their presidencies in putting decades of mistrust behind us and helping to forge a new relationship between our two countries, based on friendship, cooperation, and the pursuit of common interests.

The US and Russia do indeed have many common interests. We have a common interest in improved economic ties, a common interest in fighting terrorism and dealing with the new threats we both face in this dangerous new century. We have a common interest in working together to reduce offensive nuclear weapons, weapons that really are a legacy of past hostilities and which are really no longer needed when Russia and the US are basing our relationship on friendship, not on fear of mutual annihilation.

Defense Minister: We have just had a substantive round of negotiations with Secretary of Defense. In general, they dealt with the prospects for concluding an agreement or a treaty on reducing the strategic offensive weapons. As you might have noticed, the US-Russian consultations, and not only focusing on the reduction of the strategic offensive weapons, have been very intensive in recent months. Upon our mutual agreement with Mr. Secretary, we are ready to disclose certain secrets in our joint work.

The matter is that four or five days ago, we passed to the US side a set of new ideas, which, in our opinion, could serve a foundation for a future agreement. We listened to the US view and proposals on that account very carefully. My personal belief is that today we have reached certain progress.

As you know, in several days Russian Foreign Minister is flying to Washington. I think that by that time the Russian side will be ready to respond to the US comments and provide the comments of their own, and I hope that even greater progress will be made. And as for the agreement itself, whether it will be signed or not, of course it will be up to the presidents of the two countries to decide. But both sides spare no effort to provide the presidents with the most effective language of the agreement.

Thank you very much.

Secretary of Defense: As the minister said, our two presidents have asked the foreign ministries and the defense ministries to think through very carefully our new relationship. Secretary of State and Foreign Minister have met any number of times, and Defense Minister and I have met any number of times in various countries and several cities. And as he indicated, were making progress, and the meetings will continue later this week in Washington.

Thank you.

Q: A question to both Mr. Minister and Mr. Secretary. Were you able to agree on those issues which remained pending by today?

Minister of Defense: I would stop short of making comments in public on the subject, which is very delicate now. Besides, I would give an opportunity to our foreign ministers to do their share and - since they are the major players, they play the major role in negotiating that agreement. As far as the military establishments are concerned, we had a chance to exchange our ideas and views very frankly, very candidly, on those drafts, which we had passed to each other recently.

Secretary of defense: I agree.

Q: Mr. Secretary, I wonder if this is Charles Aldinger of Reuters. I wonder if I might ask you whether you feel that its probable or possible that you will reach an agreement by the summit. And no matter what, will the United States proceed with its plan to shelve, rather than destroy, some nuclear weapons?

Secretary of Defense: As the minister indicated, its up to the presidents to make the final decisions with respect to agreements like this. They will do so in an orderly way, as the days proceed, leading up to the summit. What they will decide is up to them. And it seems to me that the one thing I will say is that US President has indicated that regardless of the outcome of these discussions, the United States of America intends to reduce offensive deployed weapons to the levels that the president indicated, of 1,700 to 2,200.

Q: Minister X, Im Bob Burns, the Associated Press.

Could you tell us whether you discussed the prospects for many military operations in Afghanistan and he future of American military presence in Central Asia?

Minister of defense: You are quite right. We did discuss that issue, as well as a number of other issues with Secretary of Defense. And I hundred per cent agree that in the course of our regular meetings, we discuss not only the issues relating to the strategic offensive weapons but a much broader range and scope of issues where the role of two countries is very big. And it involves the afghan issue and the issue of terrorism in general.

And speaking philosophically, I would like to mention that we discussed most acute issues relating to international security, such as terrorism, non-proliferation and reduction of weapons systems in general. But it is not a mechanical approach, which we use now, just talking about the number of platforms and warheads. We are trying to predict, to forecast the relations between the two countries for five, seven and nine days years, so and even the draft of the strategic offensive weapons reductions is a document, which provides a longer period of relations. And for that end both the US side and for the Russian side, its a matter of principle to be aware of the geopolitical environment which may emerge in five, seven or ten years.

Q: A question to Secretary Y. You have just returned from Afghanistan, and you were briefed definitely on the outcome of the antiterrorist operation. Can you share some details of the operation with us? And the second question is that there is much talk of big US losses in the course of the operation. Can you comment on that?

Secretary of Defense: As I understand it, your first question involves a general comment on what is taking place in Afghanistan, with respect to the efforts to stabilize the country. We have made good progress. The Taliban are no longer running the country. The al Qaeda are not currently using Afghanistan as a training camp and bases for launching terrorist attacks on innocent people around the world.

With respect to your second question, I am not acquainted with the report that youre referring to and wouldnt even want to begin to comment on its accuracy or lack of accuracy, except I would say that experience suggests that first reports are often wrong.


Minister of Defense: Thank you.

Secretary of defense: Thank you, sir.



Task 2:


Learn the following package phrases which are used during press conferences and interviews


How to open




  1. A la salida del Ministerio
  2. A) Read the words describing the qualities required for the legal profession and translate them into Russian. Use a dictionary.
  3. A. Look at the pie-chart and say whether other search service providers operate in the Russian market. Do you check their ads more than once?
  4. B) What can you say about the significance of the event described above for the history of Russian and world theatre?
  5. B. Translate into Russian paying attention to the modals verbs. Identify the meanings of these modal verbs.
  6. Basic Concept of Security and Defense
  7. Courts of the subjects of the Russian Federation.
  8. E. Find in the text 10 ed-forms of English verbs and translate them into Russian paying attention to different functions they perform in the sentences.
  9. E. Find in the text 12 ing-forms and translate them into Russian.
  10. Exercise 11. In the table below you will find some idioms and their explanations. Do you have similar expressions in Russian? Make up sentences to use some of the idioms.
  11. Five advantages of Russian educational system
  12. From their Russian counterparts? How does the English Articulation Basis affect these con sonants?

: 185

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