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"Our goal is to help to build a Europe that is undivided, free, democratic, at peace and secure; a Europe in which Russia, Ukraine and other states of the former Soviet Union join with us to make common cause; a dynamic new Europe with partnership for commerce and cooperation."

President Clinton
The White House
May 21, 1998

With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the New Independent States (NIS) - Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan -- embarked on the historic transition from authoritarianism and central planning to free market democracy. President Clinton has led international efforts to promote the independence, sovereignty and prosperity of the NIS, secure within their borders and at peace with their neighbors. To address the nuclear threat, President Clinton has successfully curbed the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and reduced the dangerous legacy of Cold War weapon stockpiles. United States support has enabled the NIS leaders to undertake economic reform, adopt new constitutions providing for the rule of law and advance their integration with the West. Due to President Clinton's effort, the NIS have achieved significant progress towards democracy, free market and regional stability.


Dismantling Nuclear Weapons

  • Persuaded Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakhstan to return former Soviet nuclear weapons to Russia and to forswear nuclear weapons forever. Belarus achieved nuclear weapon-free status in November 1996, Kazakhstan in April 1995 and Ukraine in June 1996.
  • Provided $1.865 billion since 1992 to the Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program to help the NIS transport and destroy nuclear weapons and build national systems to safeguard weapons-usable fissile material. Approximately 5,000 nuclear warheads have been deactivated and over 1,100 long-range missile launchers and bombers have been dismantled.
  • Ratified the START I agreement 1994, which will eliminate or transfer back to Russia from Ukraine 46 bombers and 176 launchers carrying over 1,500 nuclear warheads. START I has eliminated 7 bombers and 104 launchers in Kazakhstan carrying over 1,040 warheads. START I will transfer back to Russia from Belarus 76 launchers carrying 76 warheads.

Stopping the Spread of Nuclear Weapons from the NIS

  • Enlisted Ukraine in the global nonproliferation effort, supporting its accession to the Missile Technology Control Regime in July 1998 and securing its accession to the Non-Proliferation Treaty as a non-nuclear weapon state in December 1994.
  • Obtained Ukraine's commitment to cease collaboration with the Government of Iran on the Bushehr nuclear power project.
  • Airlifted nearly 600 kilograms of highly enriched uranium in Operation Sapphire - enough for dozens of bombs - from Kazakhstan for safe disposition in the United States.
  • Provided training in export control, border security and counter-proliferation to over 2,500 Customs and Border Guard personnel from the NIS to counter smuggling of weapons of mass destruction, their components and technologies, enhancing their detection and interdiction capabilities.

Promoting Regional Peace, Security and Cooperation

  • Brokered agreements that withdrew Russian troops from Lithuania (1993), Latvia (1994) and Estonia (1994) and resettled 2,500 Russian officers out of the Baltic States. The Clinton Administration also supported decommissioning of two Soviet nuclear submarine training reactors in Paldiski, Estonia and the demolition of Soviet missile radar facility in Skrunda, Latvia.
  • Brokered the NATO-Ukraine Charter, signed on July 9, 1997, which creates a strategic partnership between NATO and Ukraine, enhancing democratic values and promoting stability in Eastern Europe.
  • Helped Ukraine integrate into Western security systems. With U.S. financial support, Ukraine is an important partner in peacekeeping in Bosnia and KFOR. The United States improved the interoperability with NATO of the Ukrainian-Polish peacekeeping battalion through training and equipment, enhancing its ability to serve in SFOR since 1996.
  • Supported the sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and other NIS, as reiterated by President Clinton during his June 5, 2000 Summit with Ukrainian President Kuchma in Kiev.
  • Facilitated Russia's removal of its border guards from Georgia. In concluding the adapted Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, the United States brokered agreements between Russia, Georgia and Moldova reducing Russian troops in Georgia and closing two of four Russian bases in Georgia in 2001, and removing all Russian troops and equipment from Moldova by the end of 2002. For Moldova, the Administration helped secure a Russian pledge to delink troop withdrawals from the political settlement of the Transnistrian separatist problem.
  • Led efforts, together with our allies, to strengthen requirements in the Conventional Forces in Europe Adaptation Agreement for host nation consent to the presence of foreign forces, including notifications to all parties as to whether such consent has been granted. This addresses a key security concern of a number of states, including Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and Azerbaijan.
  • Helped to achieve a cease-fire in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict in May 1994, ending six years of violence between Armenians and Azeris.
  • Worked with three Central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan) to create, train and conduct exercises with CENTRASBAT battalions to support international peacekeeping efforts.
  • Brokered a multi-year water sharing agreement for the Syr Darya River Basin - a major tributary feeding the Aral Sea - signed in 1998 by the Prime Ministers of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and facilitated through United States support and technical assistance.
  • Signed a Memorandum of Understanding, together with our G-7 partners, which led Ukraine to close the Chornobyl Nuclear Power Plant on December 15, 2000. The United States and other G-7 partners, working with international financial institutions, also helped mobilize over $2 billion in energy sector lending and provided more than $1 billion in assistance to facilitate Chornobyl closure and improve nuclear safety in Ukraine. The July 1997 Chornobyl Shelter Project pledging conference, which was chaired by Vice President Gore and Ukrainian President Kuchma, secured $360 million for the construction of a new Chornobyl sarcophagus. A second pledging conference, chaired by Germany in spring 2000, brought total pledges to over $700 million.

Supporting Democratic Reform

  • Provided timely assistance for Ukraine's parliamentary and presidential elections in 1994, 1998 and 1999, which established the principles of democracy and choice in Ukraine's nascent political system. The United States also provided critical assistance and monitoring for elections in Armenia, Georgia and Moldova, helping to consolidate the democratic transition in those countries. Today, 75% of people in the NIS live under democratically- elected governments.
  • Spearheaded OSCE efforts to encourage the Government of Belarus to introduce democratic reforms and implement the rule of law. Promoted international consensus within OSCE on not sending observers to the October parliamentary elections if the government in Minsk did not take the necessary steps to make these elections free and fair -- which they did not.

  • Supported more than 71,000 NIS citizens to travel to the United States on United States Government-funded academic and professional exchange programs since 1993. These programs target current and next generation leaders from public and private sectors and encourage support for of democracy, market ideas and foreign investment after their trip.
  • Promoted democratic transition in the NIS through judicial reform programs and by supporting programs on voter information and political party and NGO development. More than 37,000 NGO's have emerged in the NIS since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thousands of independent media outlets have emerged in the NIS.

Fostering Economic Reforms

  • Promoted privatization throughout the former Soviet Union with U.S. assistance for economic reforms - these reforms have put 60% of NIS economies in private sector hands. Created binational commissions, co-chaired by Vice President Gore, with Ukraine and Kazakhstan to enhance and coordinate cooperative efforts to promote economic reform and the development of free markets.
  • Supported Ukrainian economic reform programs with assistance, cutting monthly inflation from about 18% in 1994 to under 2% today, stabilizing the currency, increasing and diversifying exports to the West and shifting about 50% of the economy to the private sector. Encouraged the Government of Ukraine to move forward with much-needed energy sector reform.
  • Created private sector growth in Ukraine and Moldova through the Western NIS Enterprise Fund, a venture capital fund established in 1994 and capitalized with $150 million by the U.S. Agency for International Development, by investing in companies that support central and local governments with their taxes. The Central Asia American Enterprise Fund, established in 1994 and operating in all five Central Asian republics, has invested more than $65 million in 35 companies.
  • Agreed with Ukraine to implement an action plan to suspend the operations of compact disk pirating facilities and to enforce intellectual property rights.
  • Based on Ukraine's solid progress on nonproliferation commitments, agreed with Ukraine to lift its Space Launch Quota, creating the basis for stronger bilateral commercial ties.
  • Helped Moldova develop a model land reform program to privatize farmland through U.S. assistance. Already over 100,000 land titles have been issued to Moldovan farmers.
  • Provided technical assistance to Georgia, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan for accession in the WTO. In 1998, Kyrgyzstan became the first former Soviet republic to join the WTO. Georgia became a member of the WTO in October 1999.
  • Facilitated transition to a free market economy with technical and development assistance in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, which achieved 4%, 3.7% and 2% real growth in GDP in 1999 respectively.
  • Helped privatize over 18,000 state owned enterprises, including advisors, grants and equipment to Central Asian governments and non-governmental organizations. USAID has provided technical assistance to draft modern tax codes, convert over 2,000 enterprises to international accounting standards, and assist in the establishment of 2 stock exchanges and security commissions in Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.
  • Helped develop a pension system in Kazakhstan; seven pension fund management companies were licensed in 1998. In Kyrgyzstan, USAID supported the revamping of the National Health Care System. More than 80 family group practices have been established, providing families with needed general health care in a low cost, efficient environment.

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