Statement by the President: Cross-Border Cooperation and Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000 (8/3/00)
                              THE WHITE HOUSE

                       Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                                   August 3, 2000

                        STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

     Yesterday, I signed HR 4249, the "Cross-Border Cooperation and
Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000."  This law endorses
the Administration?s Northern Europe Initiative (NEI) and highlights the
need for continued international efforts to address the environmental
dangers posed by nuclear waste in northwest Russia.  I want to express my
appreciation to Representative Sam Gejdenson for introducing, and ensuring
the passage of, this important legislation.

     We launched the Northern Europe Initiative because we recognized, as
the Congress does in this law, the importance of strengthening regional
cooperation among the Baltic states, Russia, and all countries bordering
the Baltic Sea.  Only in this way can we create the stability and
prosperity that will lead to full integration of Northern Europe, including
northwest Russia, into the broader European and transatlantic mainstream.
Our European friends, especially the Nordic countries and the European
Union, are full partners in this effort.

     The law also highlights the environmental dangers posed by military
nuclear waste in northwest Russia.  These dangers have been brought to
light by the work of courageous independent environmentalists and
non-governmental organizations in Russia and elsewhere.  Aleksandr Nikitin,
a retired Russian Navy colonel, has made important contributions to the
international understanding and study of environmental problems in this
region.  Both environmentalists and non-government organizations face
increased challenges today.

     We have been deeply involved in helping Russia and its neighbors
confront the serious environmental risks that face the Barents Sea, the
Baltic Sea and the people who live around them.  We look forward to
increased cooperation from Russia as we create a legal framework for our
common efforts.


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