Выложенное ниже интервью весьма необычно, по крайней мере, по трем причинам.
Во-первых, потому что его одновременно дают два действовавших в то время в стране президента. Причем дают именно интервью, а не проводят пресс-конференцию. Не говоря уже о том, что личные отношения между двумя этими людьми были далеко непростыми, что, кстати, и нашло свое отражение в некоторых вопросах и ответах.
Во-вторых, потому что интервью дано вскоре после провала Августовского путча (победы Августовской революции). Ответы обоих интервьюируемых напоены дыханием совершенно иной по сравнению с нынешней эпохи. И, конечно, обращает внимание, насколько далеко страна ушла от повестки дня и представлений сентября 1991 г.
В-третьих, потому что стенограмма этого интервью, данного обозревателю АВС Питеру Дженнингсу, была опубликована, кажется, только на английском языке. И, следовательно, для русскоязычной аудитории выступления ее двух лидеров остались, похоже, неизвестными. Что тому виною – паралич ли президентских структур в первые недели после путча/революции, неодолимое ли стремление к свободе, перешедшее к намеренному отказу от самых базовых бюрократических формальностей, или что-то еще – не совсем ясно. По крайней мере, на русском языке это интервью мне пока не встречалось. Может быть, оно встретилось вам?
Gorbachev-Yeltsin Session: 'Committed to Common Work'
Published: Saturday, September 7, 1991Following are excerpts from the question-and-answer session of President Mikhail S. Gorbachev of the Soviet Union and President Boris N. Yeltsin of the Russian republic broadcast live this morning and moderated by Peter Jennings of ABC News. The comments of Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Yeltsin were translated by ABC.
JENNINGS: Here in the United States we have an invited audience here at ABC News headquarters in New York City and we also have audiences all over the country, in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Detroit, Atlanta, Miami, Philadelphia, Brooklyn, New York, and a great many people here eager to ask you questions. . . .
So many people have asked me to ask you how the two of you actually do get along. . . . Give us some sense of your personal relationship. It seems to have had a lot of ups and downs.
GORBACHEV: Once upon a time, that was a difficult question. Now it's easier to answer. A good deal of water has passed through the bridge and recent events have given us the opportunity for this cooperation to become more reliable and stable.
JENNINGS: Mr. Yeltsin?
YELTSIN: Yes, our relationship has not been an easy one. There have been dramatic times and there have been normal and businesslike times. There were times when President Gorbachev thought that I was a political corpse. I thought at one time that Mikhail Sergeyevich would not be able to be the President of the country. We have to acknowledge there were such moments.
But somehow we've adjusted, and particularly after recent events, after the putsch, after the coup, President Gorbachev has changed very seriously in the direction of the democratic movement, and on the basis of that, toward radical reforms. That was practically the last obstacle that remained between us. Now this obstacle has been removed. Now we are committed to common work, how to deal with the crisis.
Yeltsin's Power Game
Q. Mr. Gorbachev, do you think Mr. Yeltsin may be using you as a pawn in his power game, and when everything's in place he will push you aside and assume total power?
GORBACHEV: There have been a lot of talk about that, depending on who is -- on the point of view of who is utilizing whom. Probably this is not entirely correct. In evaluating what is happening, this is a matter of us for a long time now having sensed, and society as well has sensed in this regard, that we do have to cooperate. And on the whole, I have to say that we are stressing right now -- it's not a matter of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. It's a matter of unifying all democratic powers in the country. We have a very difficult task in front of us, and that is essential, and that's what we have to do.
Military Aid to Cuba
Q. . . . I am a Cuban exile in Miami. My question is, there is considerable Russian military hardware and personnel in Cuba today. Do you foresee the withdrawal of these military units in the near future? If not, why not?
YELTSIN: I think that process has begun in Europe and it must be continued in Cuba, too. Gradually the troops must be moved out.
GORBACHEV: I've been working on these problems for a long time now because of my obligations and I have to say to Americans that our relations with Cuba are being transformed in a different fashion so that they be more in line with those of other countries.
And I must say that this is very important that we do this on a mutually advantageous basis. And in this sphere, the military sphere, things are changing in a very essential fashion, and I am basically in agreement with that which was said by Boris Nikolayevich Yeltsin. Processes are taking place and they encompass these processes as well.
JENNINGS: . . . A great many people on the island of Cuba are afraid that you and the Soviet Union as a whole will now abandon them. They will be left to their own devices and will not be able to afford to continue. Do you intend to continue providing aid to Cuba? And if so, what kind of aid and how much?
GORBACHEV: Mr. Jennings, I have just said that these relations are acquiring, I would say, a character which is of mutual benefit in an economic sense. We are taking that which we need -- sugar, ferrous metals, citrus fruits, that's what we need. And in turn, we provide those materials, those raw materials included, which are necessary to Cuba. And I think that's the way things will develop in the future. And I believe that we are not intended -- we don't intend to alter our relations in any different direction.
K.G.B. Files on Dissidents
Q. Hi. My name is Oleg Myshkin and I defected from the Soviet Union quite a while ago. My question is, what's going to happen with the background and intelligence K.G.B. files on millions of Soviet people who found courage to confront the system? Are they going to be open to the public or will they be destroyed?
GORBACHEV: In the first place, we, in confirming the role of our leadership -- the leadership of Mr. Bakatin [Vadim V. Bakatin, the new K.G.B. chief] in this -- in guiding this agency -- that he has to reorganize this service. It will be different in nature. . . . But I support that which Mr. Bakatin said with regard to the K.G.B., that everything has to be done in such a fashion so as not to engender within society something which might be disruptive. But as for the archives, they are under control and we have adopted very strong, rigid measures and they will be utilized as is in the interest of science and history and in the interest of society. And that is the main thing, that these archives are being controlled.
Q. Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Yeltsin, will you kindly state for the audience your personal religious beliefs?
GORBACHEV: I am an atheist. But I -- and I've never concealed this -- I respect the feelings and the religious beliefs of each citizen, of each person. This is a question of personal sovereignty, and we have done a good deal so as to, in a legislative sense, guarantee each person the right to call himself what he wants, to allow each person to select his own religion. And I wanted -- but I did feel it necessary to add that I am personally an atheist.
YELTSIN: . . . The services, the ritual aspect, I don't really observe those, although I've been in church quite often, because during the service there's a kind of internal feeling of moral cleansing, as it were. And I certainly make a point of attending church, not to mention my respect, of course, for believers. . . . I'm also superstitious, by the way.
Control of Nuclear Arms
Q. . . . Who controls nuclear weapons use now? Who will control them in the future? And what are the protections against their accidental use?
GORBACHEV: In these recent days, we've had a number of conversations in this regard with political figures, including Senator Nunn, whom I respect as a major specialist in the area of disarmament. I had reason to believe -- and this is an area perhaps which has been little discussed on television -- the mechanism in your country and our country is known to those who need to know and not more. I have in mind the mechanism of control. But I had reason to believe and to say to Mr. Nunn that the control over nuclear weaponry in our country is more rigid than in your country. . . . No one should have any anxiety in this regard. . . .
JENNINGS: . . . Who controls nuclear weapons there now, the republics or the central Government? And what is the consultative relationship between the two?
YELTSIN: Today nuclear weapons are in the territory of three republics -- the Russian federation, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan. I think there will be a process underway whereby nuclear weapons from Kazakhstan and Ukraine will be transferred to Russian territory. And, of course, the most important thing is our responsibility for controlling nuclear weapons, and not only nuclear weapons. After all, we have atomic submarines and icebreakers, and this is all a matter of control, and it has to be very strict, this control.
So in the Supreme Soviet now we have set up a committee in charge of controlling not only nuclear weapons, but everything connected with nuclear processes. This control will be territorial and central. It will be very strict. . . .
JENNINGS: Just so we understand, Mr. Yeltsin, there is no single individual, then, now who would have control. You would not have control. Mr. Gorbachev would not have control. It would be the newly created state council which would have to agree on any use of nuclear weapons?
GORBACHEV: Perhaps I should take the initiative at this point myself inasmuch as we are now speaking about something which is closest to the supreme commander in chief, who is the President of the U.S.S.R. And I must say that we cannot reveal to you the mechanism, but I can at the same time assure you that this is a very rigid mechanism which excludes the possibility of any surprises. And there could not possibly be any decisions of an undesirable nature with regard to nuclear weaponry.
Food for Soviets
Q. I'm a farmer from the state of Iowa. President Gorbachev, we have the food that you need. What can we and you do to see that it gets out to the people in the republics that need it under your new system of government now?
GORBACHEV: . . . We truly do need cooperation with regard to food and medications. And I want to assure you that in these days, we've been very occupied, together with the republics, in developing a reliable mechanism for supplying these foodstuffs to consumers. In this regard, I want to assure you that everything that will be received will be distributed under the control of the commission which has been created in the country and which includes not only specialists, but representatives of society and the republics. And we do have a mechanism of this sort just now. . . . I think that in our country we have established a lot number of -- a considerably large number of guarantees that this will be a reliable process.
YELTSIN: The point is that the -- until the federal structure is reorganized, as we intend -- radically reorganized -- we don't have any certainty in any structure which deals with external economic activity. Russia will deal directly with your exchange without intermediaries.
JENNINGS: How does that, Mr. Gorbachev, help the other republics besides Russia? Russia will deal for itself and all the republics will deal for themselves?
GORBACHEV: No. You know, it shouldn't be that way. There will be something amorphous produced in place of the Soviet Union. I think that there will be two stages. Now we are at a stage of distributing authority, as Mr. Yeltsin just mentioned. There will be inter-republican structures which will interact. And with regard to the control over the foodstuff situation and distribution of foodstuffs and questions of Western investments, we will utilize the republican committees and we will have this type of cooperation.
But more and more, we hope that this will be shifted to the republics. And in general, in creating a market-type space and in creating a normally functioning market, the enterprises, the corporations themselves, the producers who ultimately should be acting, they will be the ones to act. So we are going to be moving toward a market and changing our approaches.
JENNINGS: . . . Mr. Yeltsin, are you saying that the Russian republic, if there is a serious winter ahead, will take care of itself and that the other republics will have to take care of themselves?
YELTSIN: You have correctly understood me.
GORBACHEV: But I should say that yesterday I was listening to the leader of the committee, the inter-republican committee, on economic questions, Mr. [ Ivan ] Silayev, who is today the Prime Minister of the Russian federation, and he said he was -- had been working on this question with all the republics, all 15, and all of them had agreed on cooperation. So I think that which Mr. Boris Nikolayevich said does not exclude cooperation and coordination, and at the same time each republic will have its own specific area of questions with regard to foodstuffs, among other things, and they will work on these questions individually.
YELTSIN: That is to say, the American leadership must bear in mind it will be necessary to change somewhat the system of relationships with the Soviet Union. There has to be a two-path system -- contractual relations with the union about the principle, but everything that refers to details -- economics, science, introducing new production technologies, new technologies, social issues, culture -- this will be an element which will be done directly through the republics by direct agreement between the United States and Russia. And we had a conversation on this score with U.S. President Bush.
Q: I'm a rabbi in Houston, Tex. Anti-Semitism has been part of the Soviet Union for many, many years. That's why 150,000 Jewish people have left in the last 18 months and a million still want to leave at the present time. Can you tell me, do you think that anti-Semitism will become weaker in the Soviet Union now? Will it remain the same? Will it possibly become stronger? What about the Pamyat organization, which is a very, very strongly anti-Semitic organization? What about its future?
YELTSIN: Yeah, I've had dealings with Pamyat for quite a long time, more than one year, at least. I think in its work it's becoming different. It's not such -- so extreme as it was when it was started in 1987, so it seems to me that, in general, this process will be eased. It will ease off. Intuitively, I feel this.
GORBACHEV: . . . I am opposed to chauvinism and nationalism and separatism and any destructive separatist approaches, and opposed to that we might in any fashion persecute or limit the rights of the Jewish people. I think that today we can speak about the fact that we -- we cannot say that there is a -- that anti-Semitism has been giving -- given a free hand. I think that anti-Semitism is lessening.
Gorbachev's Poor Choices
Q. . . . Gorbachev, you have made so many excellent decisions over the past year, great decisions. How did you allow those stupid coup plotters to serve in your Government?
GORBACHEV: Yes, for -- that's been a lesson for me. And if you think about the moral aspects of that which took place, then, most of all, I am amazed and troubled by the treacherous and treasonous nature of their acts. I think that that which we are now doing within the framework of our democratic processes, the cooperation between republics, I think that in the future, we will be able to exclude the possibility of such mistakes in appointing personnel.
We're going to cooperate on a very reliable basis so as to insure that, within the framework of the state council, we'll be able to appoint the most reliable people to these key positions. And we now have our state council, which has been created, and we have our senior personnel already in place.
JENNINGS: Mr. Gorbachev, I wonder . . . whether or not you think that having those men as colleagues who moved against you undermines your credibility with the people who may decide or not decide to freely elect you as the president, if you run?
GORBACHEV: . . . I was from the very beginning convinced that the putsch would fail. And I think if these people had given more thought to the questions, they should have known from the very beginning that this was doomed to failure.
And the country is different, the world is a different world, and we ourselves have to resolve things. We need different, more democratic approaches. And for that reason, I think that people have the opportunity to think things through. And they know my position, the position of the President, they know my devotion to the democratic processes.
And I think that they are asking themselves the same questions which are now being asked of me. And, in all probability, they will compare and decide, what does the President have most of? Which qualities? Can he make decisions? And then, on that basis, they will decide how they feel about him, and that's the way politics is.
Fate of Communism
Q. Mr. Gorbachev and Mr. Yeltsin, considering the dismal history of Soviet Communism and of Communism everywhere where it's been in charge, should any country in the world continue to live under Communism?
YELTSIN: I think this experiment which was conducted on our soil was a tragedy for our people and it was too bad that it happened on our territory. It would have been better if this experiment had been conducted in some small country, at least, so as to make it clear that it was a utopian idea, although a beautiful one. I think gradually this will come to be understood by other countries where supporters of the idea of Communism still exist.
GORBACHEV: . . . The historical experience which we have accumulated has allowed us to say, in a decisive fashion, that that model has failed which was brought about in our country. And I believe that this is a lesson not only for our people, but for all peoples. But, at the same time, this induces me to turn to the experience of other countries all the more where a devotion to the socialist idea has led to very interesting results, both with regard to democracy and the development of the economy, of human rights.
I have in mind, perhaps, here the fact that the leadership of many European states and governments is in the hands of socialists, and they are successfully resolving a number of questions. Now, with regard to the next part, what would we recommend to other peoples? I believe it would be on our part somewhat pretentious to indicate to peoples how they should live. Let them examine our experience, their own experience, the experience of other countries, and make their own selection. . . .
Soviet Olympic Team
Q. I'm with the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games. With regard to Olympic participation, can we expect that each republic will send a separate team to the Olympics, or will there be an effort made to send one Soviet team, as in the past?
GORBACHEV: Yes. I think that, nevertheless, we have enough athletes in spite of all the difficulties of the last few years that we can cooperate very intimately and we can get together within the union, participate in competitions, support our contacts. . . .
YELTSIN: I think there has to be a team representing the whole country, since, you know, regardless of the independence of three of the republics, the Baltic republics, nevertheless, athletes are taking part in our national teams, and I think we should apply it to the Olympic Games. I think that they will do that in the Olympic Games. Russia has no pretensions towards putting forward its own separate team.
Q. When we buy a factory in your country or a building, what insurance do we have that someone will not come into this factory or building and confiscate it and tell us it's not ours anymore?
GORBACHEV: I think that this question arises when you are thinking about past experience. Today we are creating very strong governmental guarantees which are reflected both in the Constitution and in yesterday's declaration of rights and freedoms and also in specialized legislation which has been passed and which has to deal with foreign citizens and foreign investors here. Everything in a radical fashion is being altered, and I confirm that the state guarantees that a purchased factory and property rights are to be observed within the framework of the law. So don't be concerned about that, and act boldly.
Q. Are there still political prisoners in the Soviet Union and in Russia, and what will happen to them?
GORBACHEV: We considered -- and I believe that Boris Nikolayevich also considered -- that we don't have them. That's how we were informed. But as of the last few days, we have been told that there are people, a few persons, who are in -- imprisoned for mixed criminal and political factors. We have handed this question over to -- to the proper bodies to be examined, and we hope that the next day or two to learn about this.
We have asked our law-and-order bodies to look into the question and decisively determine what the situation is. Without question, we stand firmly for this position, and that is position of our society as a whole, that people should not be persecuted for dissidence or for their political views.
YELTSIN: I entirely agree, and we do have a list and we're working on these lists, specifically in order to release those people who have been illegally detained, convicted for their convictions. I think there are 21 more people on the list as of today.
Soviet Work Ethic
Q. Gentlemen, Russia is richer in natural resources than America, so your people could become as affluent as we are. However, are they willing to learn to work hard and take risks in a free-market economy?
YELTSIN: People are trying to convince -- the opponents of a market economy are trying to convince us -- and of private property -- that our people won't understand. I think the people have spoken. They do understand, and they accept. In popular elections for the presidency of Russia, I came forward with a program for private property, different kinds of property owning, a market economy, entrepreneurship, foreign investment -- to open the door wide for foreign investors in Russia and create for them equal conditions, give state guarantees on behalf of Russia, and the people understand that and accept it. So the people itself, of course, is capable of working harder.
The Russian people are talented. They have good traditions. But the system, as you have seen yourself, cramped so much that it prevented a human being from expressing himself, developing himself. He had no property. There was no opportunity to do it. There was a ceiling put on salaries, a low ceiling. Now these . . . restrictions are being removed, and however much a person could earn, that's how much he will earn. There will be no restrictions from now on.
So we prepared a legislative basis -- we've adopted in the Supreme Soviet to see to it that people can really live better. But of course, a lot depends now on the organizers of production and on our joint efforts, our efforts jointly with you, to change our technology in various areas, which is backward and has lagged behind.
GORBACHEV: . . . I share the view of Boris Nikolayevich that, in democratizing our economic life, we, in the same fashion, are altering the conditions for labor. I have in mind here the opportunities for initiative. That's the main thing. I also would like to say here that recently in talking to Mr. Bush we discussed a group of experts coming to our country for them to see what's happening in our country. And this group of rather competent individuals was formed and visited the Ukraine, the northern Caucasus. They visited us here in Moscow and the Moscow area. And they were amazed by what they saw.
Many of them had not been inside the Soviet Union for a number of years. For example, the Sovietologist, Mr. Hewett -- Ed Hewett -- who is the aide -- an aide to President Bush -- they were amazed that, in a year, there were a number of changes that had taken place. They saw a lot of active, interesting people who were truly conducting businesses and had interesting plans. So life is changing. . . . This is a process which is taking place on a very large scale.
Photo: Peter Jennings moderating a televised interview with Soviet leaders. On screen was a picture of Mikhail S. Gorbachev. (ABC News via Associated Press)