Ronald Reagan picture

Informal Exchange With Reporters in Ottawa, Canada

April 05, 1987

Q. Mr. President, are you fearful that the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow is so bugged that it should be torn down?

The President. I know that that's been a problem for several years in the building that's been going on there, and I know that steps are constantly being taken by our people. So, I can't tell you what the situation is right now, but obviously, if there is no way to change that around, we obviously wouldn't move in, would we.

Q. Well, how will that determination be made?

The President. Well, I think there is a technology that could let us know.

Q. Are you concerned about the security of Secretary of State Shultz' visit?

The President. I think they'll take care of themselves.

Q. If there are no breakthroughs on this trip, what's the significance of your meetings—for both of you?

The President. We like each other.

Q. Is that enough?

The President. No, I think we're going to make some progress.

Q. On what?

The President. Well, on just what's already a very fine relationship, unlike anything any two countries in the world know.

Q. Well, would you agree the controls on acid rain target dates by the mid-nineties or something like that?

The President. We're going to discuss that. We both have this in common: We both wanted answers.

Q. Mr. President, the Canadians say that while you study the problem the damage is already being done.

The Prime Minister. We'll be talking about that one as well.

Q. Well, do you agree with the Prime Minister that they own the Arctic—lock, stock, and iceberg? [Laughter]

The Prime Minister. I said that's ours—lock, stock, and iceberg. [Laughter] I think that's a question of sovereignty, and that's our position. I've discussed it with the President before, and that position will be unchanged at any time.

Q. Will he agree with you?

The Prime Minister. You'll find out.

Q. How do you feel on the prospect of a trade agreement?

The Prime Minister. Well, thank you, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International]. Thank you, Helen.

Note: The first exchange began at 4:40 p.m. prior to a meeting with Prime Minister Brian Mulroney. The second exchange began at 4:55 p.m. following the meeting. Both exchanges took place in the Drawing Room at Rideau Hall.

Ronald Reagan, Informal Exchange With Reporters in Ottawa, Canada Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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