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Backgrounds: Russia US Relations
Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR)
Often called Nunn-Lugar assistance, this type of assistance is provided to Russia to aid in the dismantling of weapons of mass destruction and to prevent the proliferation of such weapons. The FY 2003 budget for CTR programs in Russia is $288.3 million, up from $262.7 million in FY 2002. Through CTR assistance, the United States is assisting Russia to meet START elimination levels earlier than Russia could do so unassisted.
In Russia, CTR has helped to upgrade the security and safety of nuclear weapons transport vehicles; is improving safeguards for fissile material; assisting with the design and construction of a secure, central storage facility for fissile material from dismantled nuclear weapons; providing assistance to eliminate Russian ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers; assisting with planning for destruction of chemical weapons and evaluating possible destruction technology; and supporting conversion of weapons of mass destruction to civilian production.
Under the highly enriched uranium (HEU) agreement, the United States is purchasing uranium from Russian weapons for use in power reactors. Also, both the United States and Russia will cooperate to dispose of excess military plutonium. The United States also is assisting Russia in the development of export controls, providing emergency response equipment and training to enhance Russia's ability to respond to accidents involving nuclear weapons, and attempting to increase military-to-military contacts.
In a multilateral effort (the European Union, Japan, and Canada also are involved), the United States also has provided approximately $148 million to support Russian projects funded through the International Science and Technology Center (ISTC), which provides alternative peaceful civilian employment opportunities to scientists and engineers of the former Soviet Union involved with weapons of mass destruction and their delivery systems.
U.S. Assistance to Russia
For more detailed information on U.S. Government assistance to Russia, please see the Annual Reports to Congress on U.S. Government Assistance to and Cooperative Activities with Eurasia, which are available in the Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs section on the State Department's website.
How U.S. assistance has evolved. The U.S. Government's strategy for assistance to Russia is based on the premise that Russia's transition to a democratic, free-market system will be a long-term process. The United States will need to remain engaged throughout this process, and, therefore, U.S. assistance emphasizes activities that promote the establishment of lasting ties between Russians and Americans at all levels of society. Over the past few years, the U.S. assistance program has moved away from technical assistance to the central government, although such assistance is still provided when it is appropriate and will help to advance reform. An increasing proportion of U.S. assistance is focused at the regional and municipal level, where programs are helping to build the infrastructure of a market economy, remove impediments to trade and investment, and strengthen civil society.
In general, U.S. assistance programs in Russia are working at the grassroots level by bolstering small business through training and enhanced availability of credit; expanding exchanges so that more Russian citizens can learn about America's market democracy on a first-hand basis; and increasing the number of partnerships between Russian and U.S. cities, universities, hospitals, business associations, charities, and other civic groups.
U.S. security assistance programs help eliminate weapons of mass destruction and prevent proliferation of weapons, weapons materials, delivery systems, technology and weapons expertise, counter terrorism, and promote regional stability and security. The United States has provided Russia assistance to improve physical security at key nuclear weapons storage sites, demilitarize facilities, as well as help enable compliance with arms accords. Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, cooperation in anti-terrorism efforts increased between the United States and Russia. The Administration's "Review of Nonproliferation Assistance to Russia" in FY 2001 resulted in changes to some U.S. security programs and reconfirmed the high priority of security assistance, which was increased to more than $800 million in FY 2002 to Russia.
The amount of U.S. Government-funded humanitarian assistance being provided to Russia peaked at more than $1.1 billion in FY 1999 but declined to about $24 million in FY 2002. This assistance has included the provision of food commodities by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and medical and other humanitarian commodities provided by the Department of State Humanitarian Transport Program. The U.S. Government has provided humanitarian commodities for internally displaced persons in the North Caucasus resulting from the conflict in Chechnya. Commodities such as medical supplies and food and clothing are being shipped and distributed to needy individuals, families, and institutions through the Department of State Humanitarian Transport Program.
Increasingly, U.S. Government-funded economic reform programs are focused in Russia's regions. A limited amount of assistance is targeted at promoting reforms at the national level, particularly with regard to tax administration and Russia's efforts to accede to the World Trade Organization (WTO).
Democratic reform programs are helping Russians develop the building blocks of a democratic society based on the rule of law by providing support to non-governmental organizations (NGOs), independent media, the judiciary, and other key institutions. To support this long-term generational transition, the U.S. Government is increasingly promoting links between U.S. and Russian communities and institutions, including universities, hospitals, and professional associations, and is establishing public-access Internet sites throughout Russia. In addition, the U.S. Government is helping Russia combat crime and corruption through cooperation with U.S. law enforcement agencies and community-based groups. A 2001 interagency review of U.S. assistance to Russia, initiated by the National Security Council (NSC) and conducted by the Department of State and NSC, recommended greater focus on supporting entrepreneurs, strengthening civil society and independent media, and improving Russians' health. Special emphasis also was given to working with Russia's younger generation.
Regional Initiative (RI). The RI concentrates an array of U.S. Government technical assistance, business development, and exchange programs in a small group of progressive Russian regions, with the goal of helping to create successful models of economic and political development at the regional level. Over time, it is hoped that these regions will achieve broad-based economic growth, attract outside investment, and build a strong civil society, and that they will participate in efforts to disseminate their experience to other regions of Russia. Three RI sites are operating in Samara, Tomsk, and Khabarovsk/Sakhalin in the Russian Far East. A fourth site, in Novgorod, was graduated successfully in early 2001.
Department of Defense Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program. The Defense Department's (DoD) CTR or "Nunn-Lugar" Program was initiated in FY 1992 to reduce the threat posed to the United States by weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other weapons remaining on the territory of the former Soviet Union. CTR assistance is provided to Russia--as well as Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine--to aid in storing, safeguarding, and dismantling weapons of mass destruction and to prevent proliferation of such weapons. The United States provided an estimated $2.6 billion in CTR assistance to Russia from FY 1992 through FY 2002. Key projects have included assistance in the elimination of strategic offensive arms, design and construction of a fissile material storage facility, provision of fissile material containers, material control and accounting and physical protection of nuclear materials, and development of a chemical weapons destruction facility and provision of equipment for a pilot laboratory for the safe and secure destruction of chemical weapons.
Nonproliferation assistance. Since the early 1990s, a number of security assistance programs started under the DoD CTR program have been transferred to other agencies to implement and fund.
Economic and Democratic Reform Programs
U.S. Department of State--Public Diplomacy Exchanges (formerly the U.S. Information Agency). More than 32,000 Russians have traveled to the United States on public diplomacy exchanges since 1992. Public diplomacy exchanges promote the growth of democracy and civil society and encourage economic reform and growth of a market economy in Russia. Professional and academic exchanges under this program cover such diverse fields as journalism, public administration, local government, business management, education, political science, and civic education.
Library of Congress. Through FY 2002, the Open World Russian Leadership Program (formerly known as the Russian Leadership Program) has brought almost 5,500 Russians from throughout Russia to the United States for short-term study tours, including up to 150 members of the Russian Parliament for meetings with their counterparts in the U.S. Congress.
U.S. Department of Commerce. The Special American Business Internship Training (SABIT) Program places Russian managers for short-term internships with U.S. companies. To date, more than 1,200 Russians have participated in the SABIT Program. The Commerce Department also operates the Business Information Service for the New Independent States (BISNIS), which provides market information, trade leads, and partnering services to U.S. companies interested in the Russian market.
U.S. Export-Import Bank (Eximbank). Eximbank has approved more than $3.8 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and insurance for transactions in Russia since 1991. Of this total, more than $1 billion was approved under its Oil and Gas Framework Agreement.
U.S. Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). OPIC has provided more than $3.8 billion in loans, loan guarantees, and political investment insurance to American companies investing in Russia.
Trade and Development Agency (TDA). TDA has approved approximately $5.7 million in funding for feasibility studies on more than 140 investment projects.
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In FY 2001, in response to a request by the Russian Government, USDA provided more than 184,000 metric tons of food valued at more than $60 million on a concessional basis under USDA's PL 480, Title I program. The assistance included 100,000 metric tons of nonperishable food donated through U.S. private voluntary organizations (PVOs), 1.7 million tons of wheat on a grant basis, and 1.55 million tons of commodities--including beef, pork, poultry, corn, rice, wheat, and soybeans--on a concessional basis under USDA's PL 480, Title I program. USDA also donated 15,000 tons of corn and vegetable seeds to the Russian Government for the 1999 planting season. In addition, USDA provides training to Russian agriculturists and agricultural faculty through its Cochran Fellowship and Faculty Exchange Programs, with the goal of helping to familiarize the Russian agricultural sector with Western-style agribusiness management, marketing, and other issues, while at the same time increasing U.S. agricultural exports to Russia. Since 1992, more than 600 Russians have traveled to the United States under these two programs.
U.S. Department of Defense (DoD). DoD implements the majority of the U.S. Government's security-related assistance programs through its Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program (see above). DoD also implements the Foreign Military Financing (FMF) and International Military Education and Training (IMET) programs in support of the Partnership for Peace. However, these programs were suspended in May 2001 by the State Department in accordance with legal limitations on assistance that went into effect due to Russian arms transfers to nations on the U.S. list of nations sponsoring international terrorism.
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). DOE funds and implements a wide range of programs in the security area, including the provision of Material Protection Control and Accounting (MPC&A) assistance to secure and prevent proliferation of nuclear materials and plutonium disposition assistance. DOE also is focusing on preventing proliferation of weapons expertise, facilitating the downsizing of Russia's nuclear cities, and improving the safety of Russia's nuclear reactors (see above).
Eurasia Foundation. The Eurasia Foundation, a private, nonprofit, grant-making organization supported by the U.S. Government and private foundations, has awarded more than 3,100 grants totaling more than $62 million to Russian NGOs and U.S.-Russian NGO partnerships since 1993. The foundation's grants have been targeted in three main programmatic areas: private enterprise development, civil society and public administration, and policy. The foundation also has implemented targeted grant initiatives to address specific issues, such as media development and economics research.
The U.S. Embassy is located in Russia at Bolshoy Devyatinskiy Pereulok, Number 8, 121099 Moscow (tel. (095) 728-5000; fax: (095) 728-5090).
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