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U.S. Department of State

Great Seal Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Interview with Dan Rather, CBS-TV Evening News
Washington, D.C., May 14, 1997
As released by the Office of the Spokesman
U.S. Department of State

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MR. RATHER: Movement today, possibly historic movement, on one of the thorniest issues of the post-Cold War era in Europe. Russia and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization said they agreed on an arrangement to bring Moscow into a limited partnership with the Western Alliance. This clears the way for NATO to invite former Soviet satellites into the alliance. The first three are expected to be Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic. However, details of the agreement were not released, and President Clinton and Boris Yeltsin put different interpretations on it today.
Yeltsin said it means, "Decisions can be taken only by consensus." President Clinton says, it gives Russia "A voice but not a veto over NATO's business."
I talked a short time ago with U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: This has really been a great day because this is a win-win-win situation. It's good for the United States, it's good for the Europeans, and it's good for the Russians.
MR. RATHER: Why should one not believe the argument that says this is very dangerous because it will increase paranoia among the Russians and it plays into the hands of those who want to topple Boris Yeltsin, saying, listen, the United States is now surrounding us?
SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Because it doesn't do that. What it does do is, the Russian Founding Act actually brings Russia much more into Europe and creates something that is much less dangerous, which is the isolation of Russia. This particular arrangement is one that is good for Russia, it's good for the United States, and it's certainly good for the Europeans.

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