PM Transcripts

Transcripts from the Prime Ministers of Australia

Transcript 7901


Photo of Hawke, Robert

Hawke, Robert

Period of Service: 11/03/1983 to 20/12/1991

More information about Hawke, Robert on The National Archive website.

Release Date: 14/02/1990

Release Type: Press Conference

Transcript ID: 7901

HAWKE: Ladies and gentlemen, I'll say a few words. My
friend, the Soviet Prime Minister will then say a few
words about our meeting and then we'll be available if
you desire for questions for a while. The Soviet Prime
Minister and I have had extensive discussions lasting for
a couple of hours this morning and in those discussions
we were able to cover the exciting developments in the
Soviet Union, in the international sphere, and also the
question of bilateral relationships between our two
countries. Prime Minister Ryzhkov underlined the
commitment of the leadership of his country to a
continuation of the process of change in the political
and economic spheres that are underway in the Soviet
Union. And I told the Prime Minister that as far as
Australia, the people, and the Government of Australia
were concerned, that we wholeheartedly supported the
changes that were taking place in the Soviet Union and
Eastern Europe and that in Australia we wish to respond
constructively to those changes and do whatever we can to
assist. We discussed specific ways in which the
bilateral relationship between our two countries could be
expanded, especially in the economic area, and in
addition to the interchange that the Prime Minister and I
were able to have, that was supplemented significantly
over lunch when we had the opportunity of being joined by
a number of leaders of Australian business. I'm pleased
to announce that we have agreed that there will be a high
level visit to the Soviet Union later this year by
Australian experts from both the private and the
Government sectors who have experience, expertise in the
area of food processing, handling and transportation and
we believe between us that there is scope for significant
cooperation in that area. Amongst the international
issues that we covered was one of particular interest in
our region, of developments in Cambodia and I'm very
pleased to say with the Soviet Minister again in my
presence, warmly welcomed the Australian initiative in
regard to Cambodia and the attempts that we're making
there to bringing about a resolution of the tragedy in
that country. We also shared observations about general
developments in the Asian Pacific region. Finally, in
these introductory comments, let me say with a great deal
of pleasure that the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union

indicated the support of the Soviets for the initiative
that Australia has taken together with France in regard
to the Antarctic.
RYZHKOV: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my second day on
this visit to Australia and it is the first time ever
that a Head of a Soviet Government is visiting Australia
since the time diplomatic relations were established
between our two countries. Yesterday I had some scenes
in Melbourne and early in the day we had some official
formal ceremony and also a very exciting discussion with
Prime Minister, Mr Hawke. Among the major issues that we
discussed and as I understand that issue is of major
concern to the Prime Minister is the problem, the actual
internal situation in the Soviet Union. I tried to be as
detailed as possible in providing a description of the
positive and negative aspects of that current situation
in the Soviet Union. the discussion was on the subject
of economic situation, the situation of the Party, the
inter-ethnic relationship. It is my hope that the
information I was able to provide to the Prime Minister
will enable him to take a more objective look of the
situation in our country. It is our feeling that we're
going to complicated period in our reform process and
in other words that we have come to a point that we have
to implement fully the reforms that we outlined in the
past. We know that we have to go through that difficult
period. We also discussed some international issues and
as the Prime Minister just said, this above all was the
conflict in Kampuchea. We support the initiatives that
were put forward by Australia on the Cambodian conflict,
especially whether it's to involvement by the United
Nations in that process. We also touched upon several
bilateral issues and it is also appealing that our
additional discussions that we had with members of the
Australian business community and the plenary sessions
that we're going to have later in the day will provide an
opportunity for a more detailed discussion of those
issues. It is our feeling that in the area of bilateral
relationship we have good prospects. I'm very much
satisfied with the course of this visit. Everywhere I
went I felt kind attention and attitude and I felt
sincere kindness coming from those officials Australian
officials that had to organise my visit here. We met
and we know each other, Prime Minister Mr Hawke, for some
time. People in our country have good memories of this
visit that he made to our country late in 1987 so we met
again here as good old friends. I thank you for your
HAWKE: OK, are there any questions?
JOURNALIST: ( Question not translated)
RYZHKOV: We are working on a number of proposals
covering further development of bilateral economic
relationship. It is our view that we have come very
close to completion of a project on a joint venture in

the production of aluminium. We also engaged in
negotiations on geological exploration and prospecting
and these are some of the non traditional trade and
economic relationship that we have established in the
past. We also discussed with the Prime Minister the
issue of fishing. It would appear that there are many
interesting suggestions in that regard, but the
Australian side will have to give another thought to what
we have suggested. We would hope that the suggestions
that we have made would be of mutual benefit both to
Australia and the Soviet Union. Tomorrow we intend to
continue country discussion of that issue.
JOURNALIST: Mr Prime Minister, could you tell us your
feeling about this discovering Australia and you said
before that you and Prime Minister Hawke know each other
quite well for quite some time, but this is a first visit
and this is a sort of a discovery of Australia.
What's your feeling on that?
RYZHKOV: I feel strongly that visit Prime Minister Hawke
made to Moscow late in 1987 provided a very powerful
impetus to our bilateral relationship and that is not
meant as a compliment or as a flattering remark, but this
is indeed what the actual situation is. And, as I said
this morning, I also pledged that my current visit go
beyond the bounds of protocol function and also lay
down another stone in the foundation of our bilateral
relationship. If we are successful in accomplishing this
target then our mission will have been completed, but of
course this is a discovering a new, for me this is
discovering of new of this country and I see a lot of
prospects and opportunities for expanded cooperation.
And what happens most is the attitudes on the part of
the Government to further developments of relations
with the Soviet Union to building trust and confidence
and trust is the most important thing because that is the
foundation for any further development of relations and
this is what we have been feeling most strongly. Trust
and confidence coming from the Government of Australia.
JOURNALIST: Would the Soviet Prime Minister tell us
whether the future of the Soviet base at Cam-Ranh Bay was
discussed? And if it was discussed, what was said and if
it was not discussed, what are the intentions of the
Soviet Union
JOURNALIST: From the outset I could tell that we did not
discuss that issue. On the base I can tell you the
following. Basically you may be aware of the overall
Soviet position which is in favour of dismantling foreign
bases in and that would apply to Soviet, US and bases
of other countries wherever they may be found. On the
Cam-Ranh base, following the request of the Vietnamese
Government, we are based there only one squadron, that is
five to six aircraft, no more.

Transcript 7901