Question-and-Answer Session With Reporters on East-West Trade Relations and the Soviet Pipeline Sanctions

November 13, 1982

Q. Mr. President, haven't you caved in to the Europeans on the sanctions?

Q. Why today? Why are you announcing this today?

The President. Because it's as soon as we could do it after getting the agreement.

Q. Is it linked to the release of Walesa and the new government in the Soviet Union?

The President. No. As a matter of fact, this was talked of -- doing it today -- if we got the agreement.

Q. Do you think there's new hope for arms reductions now, sir?

The President. Well, to the extent that the alliance is probably in a better union and more united than it's ever been, yes. It's sure to add to that as well as other hopes.

Q. Haven't you caved in to the Europeans on these sanctions? They gave up pretty much nothing.

The President. Oh, no. Yes, they did.

Q. What did they give up?

The President. Let me just say that the agreement that we've reached is what we set out to get, and only turned to the sanctions when we were unable to get it. We had two different delegations in Europe over a year ago, and I tried again at the Versailles summit. But we have all come together on this, and it is so much more effective. The sanctions have served their purpose.

Q. Why no communique?

The President. What?

Q. Why no communique, a joint communique?

The President. That will be later.

Q. What kind of a signal do you think it's going to send to the new Soviet leadership? What would you say will be the signal?

The President. Well, I hope the signal will be that we're ready for a better relationship any time that they are.

Q. Thank you.

Note: The exchange began at 12:50 p.m. on the South Lawn of the White House as the President was preparing to depart on his trip to Chicago, Ill.