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Public Papers - 1991 - August

Statement by Deputy Press Secretary Popadiuk on the Attempted Coup in the Soviet Union

1991-08-19

President Bush met with his national security advisers this afternoon in the Roosevelt Room for an update on the situation in the Soviet Union. Attending were Governor Sununu, General Scowcroft, Deputy National Security Adviser Robert Gates, Acting Secretary of State Eagleburger, Acting Secretary of Defense Atwood, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Robson, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence Kerr, and Arms Control and Disarmament Agency Director Lehman. In addition, representatives from the National Security Council, Treasury, and Department of Defense attended. President Bush stated the seriousness of the situation and discussed the phone calls he has had with various world leaders. President Bush has called the President of the EC, Prime Minister Lubbers, Presidents Ozal, Havel, and Walesa, and Prime Minister Antall. Earlier President Bush had spoken with Chancellor Kohl, President Mitterrand, and Prime Ministers Mulroney, Major, Andreotti, Kaifu, and Gonzalez.

In the conversations with East European leaders, the irreversibility of the democratic process in Eastern Europe was emphasized. President Bush agreed to stay in close touch with the East European leaders and pledged continuing U.S. support for the economic and political reform process in the region.

Soviet Ambassador Komplektov, at his request, met with Acting Secretary Eagleburger at noon at the State Department and this afternoon with Robert Gates at the White House. In his meeting with Mr. Gates, Ambassador Komplektov also presented a letter for President Bush from Soviet Vice President Yanayev.

Note: The statement referred to John H. Sununu, Chief of Staff to the President; Brent Scowcroft, Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs; Robert M. Gates, Assistant to the President and Deputy for National Security Affairs; Lawrence S. Eagleburger, Deputy Secretary of State; Donald J. Atwood, Deputy Secretary of Defense; John E. Robson, Deputy Secretary of the Treasury; Gen. Colin L. Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff; Richard J. Kerr, Deputy Director of Central Intelligence; Director Ronald F. Lehman II of the U.S. Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; Prime Minister Ruud Lubbers of The Netherlands and current President of the European Council; President Turgut Ozal of Turkey; President Vaclav Havel of Czechoslovakia; President Lech Walesa of Poland; Prime Minister Jozsef Antall of Hungary; Chancellor Helmut Kohl of Germany; President Francois Mitterrand of France; Prime Minister Brian Mulroney of Canada; Prime Minister John Major of the United Kingdom; Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti of Italy; Prime Minister Toshiki Kaifu of Japan; Prime Minister Felipe Gonzalez Marquez of Spain; Soviet Ambassador to the United States Viktor Komplektov; and Vice President Gennady Yanayev of the Soviet Union. Gennady Yanayev served as head of the State Committee for the State of Emergency during the attempted coup.

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