PROMOTING DEMOCRACY AND SOVEREIGNTY IN THE NEW INDEPENDENT
"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."
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.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
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
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
- 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
- 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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