Washington, Jan. 30 (RFE/RL) - U.S. President Bill Clinton and Russia's Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin today held an "in depth discussion" of U.S.-Russian relations that lasted a little more than an hour.
Vice President Al Gore told reporters following the meeting that Clinton made clear to Chernomyrdin that the U.S. will continue to support reform in Russia and will continue to work closely with Russia "to advance our common interests."
Gore and Chernomyrdin have been meeting this week as part of the Joint Commission on Economic and Technological issues. The two co-chair the commission.
Gore said the commission meetings have produced positive results, adding: "The prospects for prosperity for Russians and Americans alike are greatly improved already because of the groundwork that we have laid together."
Gore said he and Chernomyrdin discussed a broad range of issues in private conversations concerning commercial and other matters. He said they will continue those discussions tomorrow as they travel together to New York city to visit the New York Stock Exchange.
Among other things, Gore announced that as a result of the talks the U.S. agreed to amend its existing commercial space launch agreement to increase Russia's participation in the international commercial space launch market. Gore said all these measures promote Russia's integration with the global market place. He said: "By opening its doors to trade and investment, Russia gains greater access to technology and resources that help its economy grow and the world gets a new partner in commerce and a new catalyst for global peace and cooperation."