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SUPPORTING RUSSIA'S TRANSFORMATION
SUPPORTING RUSSIA'S TRANSFORMATION
"Russia's future fundamentally is in the hands of the Russian people. It
cannot be determined by others and it should not be. But Russia's future is
very important to others, because it is among the most important journeys the
world will witness in my lifetime. A great deal of the 21st century will be
strongly influenced by the success of the Russian people in building a modern,
strong, democratic nation that is part of the life of the rest of the world."
Remarks to the Russian State Duma
June 5, 2000
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States acted quickly to
seize the historic opportunity to end fifty years of global superpower competition.
With strong U.S. support, Russia has begun an unprecedented transition to democracy
and free markets, undergoing fundamental changes in its political, economic
and social life with virtually no bloodshed. Changes in Russia have also had
an impact on the Eurasian political landscape, as 12 New Independent States
emerged, the Warsaw Pact quietly disbanded and Central European countries finally
emerged from Moscow's shadow. But the Soviet system's collapse created new challenges,
as rigidity gave way to laxness, a monolith gave way to near-anarchy - too many
rules were replaced by too few. There were fears that Russia itself might break
up; that nationalist or communist extremists would seize power; that regional
conflicts in the New Independent States would spread and grow. President Clinton
responded to these challenges by increasing U.S. support for democracy, the
rule of law and grassroots entrepreneurship in Russia, while working steadily
to help dismantle Russia's nuclear arsenal and other weapons of mass destruction.
President Clinton's direct engagement with the Russian leadership was central
to achievements such as withdrawing Russian troops from the Baltics, securing
Russian cooperation in peacekeeping missions in the Balkans and reducing nuclear
dangers. Vice President Gore's U.S.-Russia Commission on Economic and Technological
Cooperation served as a focal point for supporting Russia's unprecedented transformation
and managing key areas of the U.S.-Russian relationship. Russia's transformation
will take decades to complete, with inevitable disappointments along the way.
But while Russia's future is not ours to chart - that task belongs to the Russians
- the United States has a stake in Russia's success as a democratic, market-oriented
and peaceful state. President Clinton has been deeply committed to strong U.S.
support for Russia's historic transformation and deepened engagement with the
Russian government and people.
A RECORD OF ACCOMPLISHMENT
Strengthening U.S.-Russia Cooperation and Reducing Threats to Americans
Helped deactivate 5,000 former Soviet nuclear warheads, over 600 missile
launchers (including over 360 ICBM silos), over 540 ICBMs and SLBMs, 64 heavy
bombers and 15 missile submarines through U.S.-Russian cooperative threat
reduction programs. The Clinton Administration also worked with Russia to
ensure successful denuclearization efforts in Ukraine, Belarus and Kazakstan;
3,300 nuclear warheads were moved to Russia and placed in storage. And today,
no Russian nuclear weapons are targeted at an American city.
Promoted passage by the Russian State Duma of the START II Treaty and its
related Protocol. Together with the START I Treaty, it will lead to a two-thirds
reduction in strategic nuclear weapons from Cold War-era levels and add momentum
to our discussions on START III and adapting the ABM Treaty.
Prevented the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction from Russia
through the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative (ETRI), complementing and
reinforcing other nonproliferation efforts, such as in 1995, when Russia agreed
to forego sales of cryogenic rocket engines to India. The Clinton Administration
also provided critical support to safeguard fissile material that was not
properly stored or protected. A June 2000 agreement between President Clinton
and President Putin provides for the safe, transparent and irreversible destruction
of 68 metric tons of Russian and American (34 tons each) weapons grade plutonium
- enough plutonium to make thousands of nuclear weapons. Cooperative civilian
research projects under ETRI have kept tens of thousands of high-tech engineers
and former Soviet weapons scientists from selling talents elsewhere. Collaborative
projects are redirecting former Soviet chemical and biological weapons scientists
toward peaceful work and supporting the dismantlement of former CBW facilities
and chemical weapons stockpiles. Health related nonproliferation programs
under the International Science and Technology Center in Moscow have already
led to development of new Hepatitis A and measles vaccines.
Promoted regional security and integration by strengthening the independence,
sovereignty and territorial integrity of the New Independent States. The Clinton
Administration also sought to promote Russia's integration with the new Europe
and its participation in institutions such as the G-8. Russia withdrew its
troops from the Baltic states and Central Europe. Russia reaffirmed the sovereignty,
territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine as part of the landmark
1994 U.S.-Ukrainian-Russian agreement on post-Soviet denuclearization. Russia
signed the NATO-Russia Founding Act in 1997, codifying a cooperative relationship
with NATO, despite Russian objections to NATO enlargement. For the first time
since World War II, Russian and American troops serve side by side in Bosnia
and in Kosovo. Russian diplomacy was critically important during the Kosovo
Promoting Democracy and Human Rights in Russia
Provided strong support for Russia's successful transformation to an electoral
democracy. Parliamentary elections in 1995 and 1999 and presidential elections
in 1996 and 2000 demonstrated Russia's new democratic system at work. The
outcome of these elections was determined at the ballot box; the losers accepted
defeat and went to work preparing for the next electoral contest. These are
the building blocks of democracy and a key aspect of Russia's transition toward
a more pluralistic society. The Clinton Administration has targeted resources
to help create the infrastructure for free elections and to address concerns
regarding media access and other issues.
Advocated human rights by encouraging Russia to adhere to international
norms on human rights. The Clinton Administration pressed Russia to conduct
thorough and impartial investigations of credible reports of human rights
violations in Chechnya and to strengthen cooperation with international organizations
such as the OSCE. Today Russians enjoy the basic freedoms of speech, religion,
association, travel and the press. The Clinton Administration was at the forefront
in the fight for human rights and democracy throughout Russia and the New
Promoted legal reform and the rule of law in Russia through assistance,
aimed at developing an independent judiciary and improving legal decision-making
and respect for the rule of law. The Clinton Administration launched a project
to promote the rule of law and to support the drafting of a new Criminal Code
immediately after the first Clinton-Yeltsin summit in 1993. U.S. assistance
programs promote independence of the judiciary, support for various Russian
law schools, creation of legal aid clinics, law-related nongovernmental organization
activities and the role of the legal bar in society.
Strengthened independent media in Russia by providing training, small grants
and technical assistance to independent TV, radio and print media across Russia.
Support for independent media was a key theme of President Clinton's June
2000 visit to Moscow. U.S. assistance programs are helping Russians connect
with the world via the Internet. U.S. assistance to over 300 regional commercial
TV stations helped raise their audiences from zero in 1991 to over 30% in
many markets. In 1997 only 19% of local TV stations were producing local news
programs. By 1998 U.S. assistance had helped raise that number to 87%. Since
1996, USIA's Internet Access and Training Program has provided access to and
training in the use of the Internet. There are today 32 public access sites
in Russia that receive 25-30,000 visitors per month. Twenty-two additional
sites will be added in 2001.
Cultivated civil society in Russia. Development of healthy civil society
is a cornerstone of U.S. assistance efforts. Before 1989, there were no NGOs
in Russia. Now there are 65,000 -- and this number is growing. Since 1993,
nearly 40,000 exchanges from Russia have been completed. In FY 2000 the Clinton
Administration spent nearly $50 million to sponsor exchanges involving over
5,000 Russians. These exchanges have had a palpable impact on all spheres
of life in Russia, and U.S. exchange alumni programs in Russia create a community
that continues the benefits of the exchanges long after they are over.
Supporting Russia's Transition from Communism to Free Markets
Assisted Russian dismantlement of its once centrally-planned state-controlled
economy. The Soviet state apparatus controlled nearly all economic decisions.
Today the market largely determines prices and how resources are allocated,
and the state's grip on economic activity has largely been severed. The Russian
economic debate has shifted decisively from restoring the communist past to
setting priorities on fiscal policy, taxation, pension and health care reform
- the core bases of market democracy.
Fostered grassroots entrepreneurship in Russia by focusing U.S. economic
assistance on small and medium-sized businesses that are building a new Russian
economy from the bottom up. U.S. assistance for small and medium enterprises
has created or sustained more than 60,000 jobs and more than 15,000 businesses
across Russia. In 1991, the small business sector was virtually non-existent
in Russia and the New Independent States. Today there are upwards of 900,000
small businesses in Russia, producing 12-15 percent of the GDP. Over 250,000
Russian entrepreneurs have received training, consulting services or small
loans through U.S. Government programs. A majority of participants in U.S.
Government programs report increases in production, sales, customer base and
profitability. The United States has focused assistance programs on three
regions - Novgorod, Samara and the Russian Far East - where regional reformers
and entrepreneurs are demonstrating that they can generate growth even in
Helped Russia build the infrastructure for a market economy, including
the creation of a securities and exchange commission and a joint training
program with the World Bank - for employees of banks - that promotes international
standards. U.S. assistance has developed training centers and lending programs
for small business that could generate new economic activity.
Supported Russia's efforts to reform its commercial legal infrastructure
and develop an independent judiciary that can protect investment and enforce
the sanctity of contracts. The Clinton Administration launched a project to
promote the rule of law and to support the drafting of a new Civil Code, a
Criminal Code, bankruptcy laws and much of the legal and regulatory framework
for Russia's Securities and Exchange Commission immediately after the first
Clinton-Yeltsin summit in 1993. U.S. assistance programs promote independence
of the judiciary and provide training for judges in commercial law.
Helped make the privatization process in Russia as transparent and efficient
as possible. While the privatization process was imperfect, two-thirds of
Russia's GDP is now generated by the private sector. Russia has also developed,
with U.S. help, a legal framework and process for housing privatization. Today,
over half of Russia's housing stock is privately owned, up from 20% in 1991.
Fought crime and corruption in Russia and curbing its spread to the United
States by collaborating with Russian law enforcement to identify and prosecute
crime groups, to combat financial crimes such as money laundering and to set
priority targets for intelligence collection and other action. U.S. police
officers are helping Russian police improve law enforcement skills and respond
to public needs.
Worked with our G-7 counterparts to encourage international financial institutions,
including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, to develop a
system of financial safeguards and transparency practices in their lending
to Russia, to ensure that funds lent to Russia are used for their intended