[Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: William J. Clinton (1993, Book II)]
[October 3, 1993]
[Pages 1647-1648]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office www.gpo.gov]

Remarks and an Exchange With Reporters on Russia
October 3, 1993

    The President. Ladies and gentlemen, I have received a rather 
extended briefing on what we know about what is going on in Russia, and 
I want to make a couple of comments about

[[Page 1648]]

it. First of all, it is clear that the violence was perpetrated by the 
Rutskoy-Khasbulatov forces, that there has been significant violence 
today in Moscow. It is also clear that President Yeltsin bent over 
backwards to avoid the use of force, to avoid excessive force from the 
beginning of this, and I still am convinced that the United States must 
support President Yeltsin and the process of bringing about free and 
fair elections. We cannot afford to be in the position of wavering at 
this moment or of backing off or giving any encouragement to people who 
clearly want to derail the election process and are not committed to 
reform in Russia. So we are following events moment by moment. As you 
know, we have access to television coverage there so you are also pretty 
current on it. But that is the most I know now, and that is our 
    Q. Do you think that Yeltsin can survive, Mr. President, and will 
you cut off aid if he is deposed?
    The President. Well, I don't expect him to be deposed. I wouldn't 
overreact to this, now. I think the people clearly stand far more 
supportive of him than the Rutskoy-Khasbulatov and they seem--they don't 
have any organized military support that we're aware of. So we'll just 
have to wait for developments, but I have no reason to believe that he 
would be deposed.
    Q. Mr. President, have you spoken to President Yeltsin?
    The President. No. I'm sure he's got more important things to do 
right now than to talk to me, and I don't think the United States should 
be involved in the moment-to-moment management of this crisis, but I do 
want him to know of my continued support and the support of the United 
    Q. What can the U.S. Government do right now?
    The President. Well first of all, we can get as much intelligence, 
as quickly as possible, about what's going on, and we can do our best to 
look after the safety of the Americans who are there and the security of 
the Embassy, which has received some attention from our folks, and so 
far the reports on that are good.
    Q. Do you have any plans to cancel your trip or postpone your trip 
in any way?
    The President. No.

Note: The President spoke at 12:09 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White 
House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these