Biography Chronology Home Search Speeches/Statements

1992 - Mr Major’s Doorstep Interview in Munich

Below is the text of Mr Major’s doorstep interview in Munich, held on Wednesday 8th July 1992.


QUESTION:

Prime Minister, what do you expect to tell Mr Yeltsin today?

PRIME MINISTER:

I think we want to hear from Mr Yeltsin how his reform programme is proceeding, I think there is agreement now on the first credit tranche from the IMF, so there is quite stiff conditionality attached to it. I think we will want to discuss how the reform programme is proceeding, not just in general terms but what specifically Mr Yeltsin sees happening next week, next month and in the months immediately ahead, it is a crucial critical period.

QUESTION:

Is there a worry that he will be demanding almost a bottomless commitment to aid?

PRIME MINISTER:

No I do not think so, I do not believe that will be the case, I have no doubt that Mr Yeltsin will set out the very difficult circumstances he faces, we all sympathise with that, the position is indeed extremely difficult. But I think it is really a question of examining the difficulties, looking at the conditionality attached to the first tranche of the IMF loan and pitching our minds forward to see what might happen in the future.

QUESTION:

How disappointed are you at the failure to make progress on the GATT negotiations?

PRIME MINISTER:

I do not know that it is entirely true to say there has been failure to make progress, I think it was absolutely essential that the GATT negotiations came on the agenda here, I think it would have been intolerable for us to have come here, the leaders of the seven industrial nations, and not faced squarely the difficulties that actually existed in the GATT Round. We gave our commitment to examine this in the past, I for one was determined that we would examine it and we have. It has not been possible to make a full breakthrough, I think that was always to be expected, there were parties who were part of the negotiation who were not here. But there is now no doubt, not a shred of doubt, in anyone's mind about the importance of the GATT Round and particularly the importance that the British attach to it. We should have had an agreement by now, we have not got an agreement by now, it remains imperative that we get an agreement and we will push, and push, and push, until eventually some time later this year an agreement is reached, it must be, and the sooner the better.