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Remarks at a State Dinner Hosted by President Boris Yeltsin of Russia in Moscow

January 02, 1993

President Yeltsin and members of the Russian Government, friends, all, Americans and Russians, we are here for an historic occasion. I believe that this is a moment that history will record most positively as we sign that treaty. As I prepare to leave the Presidency, I bid farewell to a man for whom I have enormous respect, a man whose courage captured the imagination of every single American as he stood on a Russian tank and straddled Russian history, steering it toward a democratic future. His voice spoke loudly for freedom through the chaos of change, and it spoke softly of friendship through the static of a long distance telephone line, a patriot who silenced the guns of August, President Boris Yeltsin.

Mr. President, as you so eloquently stated, there is now a new U.S.-Russian partnership built together, affirming our dedication to a democratic peace in Europe and, indeed, to a global peace. The two powers that once divided the world have now come together to make it a better and safer place. Mr. President, we've come together again this weekend amid a Moscow winter to sign the most significant arms reduction treaty ever.

All of us, sir, wish you and your colleagues well on the bold reforms that you've undertaken. Reform is never easy, and this we understand. But your people do not run away from a challenge. And in this challenge, America will stay with you, shoulder to shoulder.

May I simply say a word about my successor, President-elect Clinton. I am confident that what we do tomorrow is of tremendous importance to him, and I am confident that you will find him a 100-percent partner in working for this U.S.-Russian relationship that we treasure so much.

I salute everybody in this room and elsewhere who had a hand in completing this historic treaty. I raise my glass to toast a strong future between Russia and the United States, to toast President and Mrs. Yeltsin, dear friends, and to toast this new year, a new year of hope, freedom, and peace for the Russian people.

Good luck and may God bless you all.

Note: The President spoke at approximately 7:05 p.m. in the Winter Garden Room at the Kremlin. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

George Bush, Remarks at a State Dinner Hosted by President Boris Yeltsin of Russia in Moscow Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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