Remarks at agreement-signing ceremony:

Mr. President, ladies and gentlemen, comrades. First of all, I would like to thank President George Bush for presenting so well the results of our work that we have been doing over these days in Washington.

So I have a problem: What shall I talk about? So I think that I will do some thinking aloud in this context.

I would say that maybe this room has seen many important events and many agreements signed, but I think that what is happening now and what you have listed as the results of our work together represents an event of momentous importance, not only for our two countries, but for the world.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt, half a century ago, spoke of a world in which four essential freedoms will triumph: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want and freedom from fear.

And this ideal has not yet been attained in the world. And it could not be attained in the world of animosity and confrontation. And therefore, while liberating the world from fear, we are making steps toward a new world. And this is the important work of our two nations, of our two peoples.

What is very important, I think, is that we do not just declare our commitment to moving toward a healthier international environment, toward better international relations, toward a nonviolent world.

We are taking practical steps in that direction, and what you have just listed and what we will be signing during this visit I think is a confirmation that both our declarations are right, in that they seek to justify the hopes of our peoples, and that we are also taking those practical steps.

The important steps that we are taking today illustrate the degree of agreement between our two countries despite the fact that -- and here I quite agree with you that there are things on which we disagree and there are differing views that we have on certain questions -- but that area of disagreement is being narrowed in the course of our work together.

What we will be signing I think is the best demonstration that we are ready to participate at the level of our responsibility in building a new civilization.

There are still many difficult challenges awaiting us. It is evident that to dismantle that monumental artifact of the Cold War, the accumulated arsenals of mutual destruction, is not at all a simple or even an entirely safe thing to do.

The slightest imbalance or {un}due haste or lack of equilibrium in this process may dangerously destabilize the overall international situation.

But I am sure that if we take a balanced and responsible approach, if we take into account the concerns and positions of each other, even when we disagree -- if we do all that, I'm sure that we will be able to move ahead more resolutely and more vigorously.

Mr. President, you have just mentioned Malta. Mr. President, I am pleased to note that the turbulent developments of recent months after Malta have not led us astray from the goal we set together. So I believe that we have passed the first test.

Mr. President, let me reaffirm here something that I've been saying in our one-on-one talks. We have had many such talks during this summit and I welcome this style of negotiating. But let me reaffirm to both our peoples that the Soviet Union is committed to the objective set at Malta, completing before the end of this year the preparation of the START treaty.

I believe that this goal is attainable even though it is difficult. I also can confirm what you have said, that we have agreed during our talks that this year we will seek to sign a treaty at the Vienna {Conventional Forces in Europe} talks.

And of course, we believe that in that case there will be the CSCE, European security summit meeting. I think we already have good results and a good potential to work.

I believe that this is all possible as a result of the efforts of both sides over the past few years, including the efforts in which you, sir, have participated vigorously and actively and with great foresight in order to expand our relationship and to build on the capital of trust in our relations. It would seem that I have said even more than I intended to say. I think it means that I'm human in the sense that I'm emotional.

I would like to thank -- I would like to say that we have done a great deal in order to assure this success, and I would like to congratulate our two nations, and I would like also to shake your hand, Mr. President, so that we congratulate each other.