[House Hearing, 106 Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
RUSSIA: HOW VLADIMIR PUTIN ROSE TO POWER AND WHAT AMERICA CAN EXPECT
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
ONE HUNDRED SIXTH CONGRESS
SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
Serial No. 106-187
Printed for the use of the Committee on International Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.house.gov/
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
69-718 WASHINGTON : 2001
COMMITTEE ON INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
BENJAMIN A. GILMAN, New York, Chairman
WILLIAM F. GOODLING, Pennsylvania SAM GEJDENSON, Connecticut
JAMES A. LEACH, Iowa TOM LANTOS, California
HENRY J. HYDE, Illinois HOWARD L. BERMAN, California
DOUG BEREUTER, Nebraska GARY L. ACKERMAN, New York
CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH, New Jersey ENI F.H. FALEOMAVAEGA, American
DAN BURTON, Indiana Samoa
ELTON GALLEGLY, California DONALD M. PAYNE, New Jersey
ILEANA ROS-LEHTINEN, Florida ROBERT MENENDEZ, New Jersey
CASS BALLENGER, North Carolina SHERROD BROWN, Ohio
DANA ROHRABACHER, California CYNTHIA A. McKINNEY, Georgia
DONALD A. MANZULLO, Illinois ALCEE L. HASTINGS, Florida
EDWARD R. ROYCE, California PAT DANNER, Missouri
PETER T. KING, New York EARL F. HILLIARD, Alabama
STEVE CHABOT, Ohio BRAD SHERMAN, California
MARSHALL ``MARK'' SANFORD, South ROBERT WEXLER, Florida
Carolina STEVEN R. ROTHMAN, New Jersey
MATT SALMON, Arizona JIM DAVIS, Florida
AMO HOUGHTON, New York EARL POMEROY, North Dakota
TOM CAMPBELL, California WILLIAM D. DELAHUNT, Massachusetts
JOHN M. McHUGH, New York GREGORY W. MEEKS, New York
KEVIN BRADY, Texas BARBARA LEE, California
RICHARD BURR, North Carolina JOSEPH CROWLEY, New York
PAUL E. GILLMOR, Ohio JOSEPH M. HOEFFEL, Pennsylvania
GEORGE RADANOVICH, California [VACANCY]
JOHN COOKSEY, Louisiana
THOMAS G. TANCREDO, Colorado
Richard J. Garon, Chief of Staff
Kathleen Bertelsen Moazed, Democratic Chief of Staff
Mark Gage, Professional Staff Member
Liberty Dunn, Staff Associate
C O N T E N T S
The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright, Secretary of State.......... 4
The Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a Representative in Congress
from the State of New York, Chairman, Committee on
International Relations........................................ 33
The Honorable Christopher H. Smith, a Representative in Congress
from the State of New Jersey................................... 34
The Honorable Madeleine K. Albright.............................. 36
Additional material submitted for the record:
Response by the Honorable Madeleine K. Albright to additional
questions submitted for the Record by the Honorable Benjamin A.
RUSSIA: HOW VLADIMIR PUTIN ROSE TO POWER AND WHAT AMERICA CAN EXPECT
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 27, 2000
House of Representatives,
Committee on International Relations,
The Committee met, pursuant to call, at 10 a.m. in Room
2172, Rayburn House Office Building, Hon. Benjamin A. Gilman
(Chairman of the Committee) presiding.
Chairman Gilman. The Committee will come to order.
Good morning, Madam Secretary.
Before we begin, I would like to commend you for your many
efforts in addressing the many difficult foreign policy issues
that you have had on your watch.
Since this might be your last appearance before our
Committee as Secretary of State, I thought it would be
appropriate to acknowledge the diligent work you have done in
representing our Nation to the world. So, on behalf of all of
our Members, thank you for all you have done.
We appreciate your coming before the Committee today to
address the many issues related to our relationship with
With the indulgence of our Members and in light of your
schedule, we will have just two opening statements--by myself
and by our colleague from Connecticut, the Ranking Member.
Madam Secretary, we would then ask that you summarize your
prepared statement so that we might then move more quickly to
our Members' questions.
Ladies and gentlemen, my colleagues, this morning's hearing
is focused in large part on the past and current activities of
Vladimir Putin, the new President of Russia.
I think that we need to be concerned about several issues
regarding Mr. Putin: his rise from obscurity to the highest
levels of power; the sources of his current support; and his
intentions for Russia's foreign policy, in particular toward
the United States.
Madam Secretary, within Russia there are voices of brave
people who are truly dedicated to democracy and political and
economic reforms warning us that Mr. Putin is not who he would
have us believe he is.
We all know, of course, that he has spent much of his life
as a career KGB agent, but we also need to look more closely at
how he rose to the presidency. He rose to the position of Prime
Minister at a time when former President Boris Yeltsin was
searching for someone who could ensure his safe departure from
office. Indeed, after Putin entered the presidency, his very
first action was to grant Yeltsin immunity from any
Additionally, we should note the manner in which Mr. Putin
won that election. It was an election Yeltsin and Putin timed
to the disadvantage of his opponents. It was an election in
which the government-run media blatantly slandered Putin's
Stories are now emerging in Russia's independent media
about massive vote-rigging for Putin in the election. That is
the same independent media now being intimidated by the Putin
government. As one commentator said, the election was nothing
more than a ``velvet coup,'' manipulated to such an extent that
it simply handed power from Yeltsin to Putin.
But there is much more than that which should concern us.
Those surrounding Putin and former president Boris
Yeltsin--including the Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky--created
a brand new political party late last year. This new party had
almost no known political platform, but it benefited from the
same kind of Kremlin support Putin later enjoyed. That new
party won a considerable number of seats in the Russian
parliament and immediately joined the Communists in excluding
reform-minded parties from leading positions in that body.
Now we hear reports that those around Putin, many of them
former career KGB agents themselves, would like to create
another new party. This potential new party would have a more
left-wing face but would really be controlled by the Kremlin.
As one courageous Russian journalist has said, Vladimir Putin
and his supporters are now trying to create a ``managed
democracy'' in Russia.
But, again, there is even more that is puzzling about this
new president and his government.
Recently, we have witnessed what would appear to be a
growing disagreement between Mr. Putin and Mr. Berezovsky.
Berezovsky has, over the years, played a central role behind
the scenes in the Yeltsin and Putin governments and has made
tremendous profits out of the privatization process in Russia.
But now, Berezovsky is publicly criticizing the Putin
government and complains that he is under some pressures from
it. However, at the same time, he and his associates have
received quiet support from the Putin government for lucrative
business deals that promise them greater wealth.
Madam Secretary, I believe that all this points to one
thing: We must be very cautious before accepting Putin as ``a
man we can do business with,'' as our President recently put
it. We need to start listening to those in Russia who truly
support democracy and reforms.
Over the past several years, I have made my concerns about
our Russia policy known to you and the President in
correspondence, in public articles, and in hearings on that
policy held by this Committee. While Vladimir Putin's rise to
power certainly stems from the situation in Russia over the
past few years, I am concerned that the United States policy
toward Russia has also contributed to his rise to power. Let me
explain why I believe that.
Russians who are truly interested in democracy and reforms
have warned that our policy--a policy that continued to support
Boris Yeltsin while corruption flourished around him--would not
result in either democracy or reforms in Russia. Our own State
Department personnel have stated--and testified before
Congress--that they tried to warn our policymakers as early as
6 years ago that the policy toward Russia had to change. Their
warnings were ignored.
A clear sign that our policy was flawed was our support for
the IMF's decision to loan billions of dollars to the Russian
government while billions and billions more were being shipped
out of Russia to foreign bank accounts, month after month, year
after year. Yet nobody in the Administration seemed willing to
call the Yeltsin government to account for its corruption.
Instead, a few perfunctory statements were made and a rather
small program was designed to advise Russians on crime and
Having failed to truly stand up to the massive corruption
in the Yeltsin government, will anybody now call the Putin
government to account for the sake of democracy?
The independent media in Russia, the one major source of
information about government corruption in that country, is now
What is being said to Russian government officials, what is
being done by our United States officials, to halt that
intimidation and protect freedom of the press?
Today, Madam Secretary, we hope you will give us some
insight into how we got to this point in our relationship with
Russia and where we go from here.
Madam Secretary, let me say just one thing outside of the
scope of our hearing today. With regard to your proposal for a
new Under Secretary for Law Enforcement, Security and
Terrorism, I have long-held concerns regarding the performance
of State's INL office in fighting drugs. I have to regrettably
say that there are too many unknowns about increasing the role
of the State Department in law enforcement matters, and
increasing bureaucracy doesn't guarantee better coordination.
We ought not to tie the incoming Administration's hands in this
Now, I would like to recognize my colleague from
Connecticut, the Ranking Member, for his opening statement; and
then we will proceed directly to the Secretary's testimony and
the Members' questions. Mr. Gejdenson.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, I want to start off where the Chairman
started. You have made all of us very proud in your leadership,
both as our Permanent Representative to the United Nations and
now as our Secretary of State. I think the global message that
you send, first of all, to show the inclusive nature of this
country as an immigrant to the United States and now as the
woman who has reached the highest position in the U.S.
Government, it is a symbol of how America views the world; and
your leadership in connecting us globally and also in this
country, making sure that the American people understand the
importance of foreign policy and our foreign involvement, is
something that will have a lasting impact here.
You are really the first post-Cold War Secretary, in many
ways, as the dust settles; and while there is much to complain
about in Russia and elsewhere, what we have lived through now
is the denuclearization of three of the former Soviet states.
Belarus, the Ukraine and Kazakhstan no longer have nuclear
weapons, the Russians have thousands fewer nuclear weapons as a
result of your efforts and this Administration's efforts.
We have seen three presidential elections and two
parliamentary elections in Russia; and if there was any time in
my growing up, growing up in a family that fled the Soviet
Union in the 1940's, that we would be here with an opportunity
to debate what level of freedom the press still retains in
Russia, that in itself is good news.
We obviously want to continue to press the Russians to
follow a model of a democratic free society with a free press
and a free market economy. We are heading in that direction.As
we look at the economic indicators, in Russia things are
improving. The middle class is growing.
There are many challenges ahead, I can tell you. When there
were opportunities to take political advantage of simply being
confrontational with Russia, you and this Administration made
every effort to engage Russia while urging compliance with the
tough standard we have in the international community for civil
society and democracy. But you have continued to build that
relationship; and I think when history looks back at this
Administration, getting through this transitional period will
be one of the great marks on this Administration.
Some people have tried to make politics out of Russia
policy, but when you take a look at American national
interests, you and this Administration have succeeded in
representing America's interest in reducing the threat from the
former Soviet Union and reducing the threat from Russia itself
by removing nuclear weapons, missiles, submarines and bombers,
and that makes every American and everyone in the world safer;
and I want to thank you for that.
Chairman Gilman. Madam Secretary, please proceed.
STATEMENT OF THE HONORABLE MADELEINE K. ALBRIGHT, SECRETARY OF
Secretary Albright. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman and
Members of the Committee. I can't thank you enough for your
gracious remarks. There is no greater honor than to represent
the United States, and I thank you very much for your kind
remarks at the beginning, and I hope we can end up that way,
Mr. Gejdenson. You might want to pull your microphone
Secretary Albright. This may, in fact, be my final time
before you; and I have to say I will miss these opportunities.
We don't always agree, but the American people can always count
on this Committee to be forward looking and to approach
important foreign policy issues in a bipartisan spirit, and I
am sure that those qualities will be in evidence this morning
as we talk about what I think is a very crucial issue, the
United States' policy toward Russia.
Since the Cold War's end, America has pursued two
fundamental goals with Russia. The first is to make the world
safer through cooperation on weapons of mass destruction and
security in Europe, and the second is to encourage Russia's
full transition to a free market democracy. On both we have
moved far in the right direction, but it is not surprising,
given Russia's past, that neither goal has been fully
accomplished within the space of a single decade. Our focus now
is on how to achieve further gains; and through our efforts on
arms control, the United States and Russia have set the stage
for further reductions in our strategic nuclear arsenals to as
much as 80 percent below Cold War peaks.
Since 1992, our assistance has helped to deactivate more
than 5,000 former Soviet nuclear warheads. We have also helped
to strengthen the security of nuclear weapons and materials at
more than a hundred sites and purchased more than 60 tons of
highly enriched uranium which could have been used by terrorist
or outlaw states to build nuclear weapons.
Throughout this period, fighting proliferation has been the
top priority in U.S. Russia relations, and we have made
considerable progress, but Russia's overall record on nuclear
and missile exports remains mixed. We will continue to be frank
with Russian leaders in stating our expectations, and we will
take appropriate actions based on their response.
More broadly, our security cooperation in Europe and
elsewhere has proven steady despite periods of stress. Many
predicted that our differences with Russia would lead to
disaster, first on NATO enlargement and then on Bosnia and
later on Kosovo. But today the NATO Russia partnership is
active, and the U.S. and Russian troops are side by side in
Bosnia and Kosovo.
These and other examples of cooperation contrast sharply
with the Cold War years, but here again problems remain. We
believe that the new and democratic Russia should support
democratic principles at home and abroad, and so we have
objected strongly to Russia's support for the regimes in
Baghdad and Belgrade. Russia has an obligation to observe U.N.
Security Council sanctions against Iraq, and we look to Moscow
to show its friendship to the people of Yugoslavia by
supporting the desire they have so clearly expressed for new
leadership and a place in Europe's democratic mainstream.
The United States is also engaged with Russia on economic
matters, where we have encouraged openness, reform and an all-
out fight against corruption. Compared to the financial crisis
of 2 years ago, the Russian economy is doing well. President
Putin's policies have been aided by high oil prices and
improved levels of domestic investment. But the current
recovery is fragile and built on a very narrow base. Russia has
not yet made a deep enough commitment to reform, approved anti-
money laundering legislation or initiated a truly serious
battle against corruption. As a result, foreign investors
remain wary, and Russia's economic prospects are still in
Mr. Chairman, I don't know how many Members of this
Committee have visited both the old Soviet Union and the new
Russia, but I can assure you there is a startling contrast. In
the old days, Russians had no meaningful right to vote,
worship, speak, travel or advocate change. Now they vote
regularly and speak freely; and, with our help, they are
beginning to develop the legal structures required for a rule
of law. Over the past 11 years more than 65,000 NGOs have come
But in recent months the future of independent media has
emerged as a revealing test of President Putin's attitude
toward democracy. Several incidents of media harassment have
prompted many to believe that a broad campaign is under way to
intimidate or co-opt the media. President Putin has said a free
press is the key to the health of a society, and we obviously
agree, but it will be hard to take his statement seriously if
Russia's state-run national gas monopoly, Gazprom, succeeds in
its current effort to gain control of the Nation's largest
independent TV network.
Experts agree that after the disruptions of the last decade
there is a widespread desire among the Russian people for
leaders who will create a stronger sense of order and direction
within society. As a result, order has become the big buzzword
in Moscow; and Russia's new leaders are trying to instill a
greater sense of it in Russian society.
The big question is whether they have in mind order with a
small ``o,'' which is needed to make Russia function, or order
with a big ``O,'' which translates into autocracy. This is a
fundamental choice that only the Russians can make.
Their leadership is perhaps more instinctively pragmatic
than democratic, but it appears to understand that Russia
cannot succeed economically unless it establishes and maintains
close ties with the democratic West. Our job is to make clear
that economic integration and democratic development are not
separable. If the Kremlin wants one, it must proceed with the
other. This makes sense from our point of view and also from
Russia's, because most Russians want to see order established
in their society through the full realization, not the
repression, of democratic practices and rights.
To support this aspiration, the Clinton-Gore Administration
has worked hard to develop relationships with Russians that
extend far beyond the leaders in Moscow. We have done this
through our meetings with local officials and entrepreneurs,
through international exchanges and our support for independent
media, trade unions, and the NGOs.
We have also shown support for Russian democracy by
speaking out against violations of human rights in, among other
places, Chechnya. Since the fighting began in Chechnya more
than a year ago, the United States has been consistent in
calling for a political solution to the conflict and impressing
Russia to allow a credible international presence to
investigate abuses. Tragically, Russia still has no apparent
strategy for bringing this war to an end or for reassuring the
Chechen population about its future under Moscow's rule.
Clearly,a new approach is warranted.
Mr. Chairman, I think both Democrats and Republicans from
the executive branch and on Capitol Hill can take pride in the
steps we have taken to help Russians build a democratic future.
It should not be surprising that neither our efforts nor those
of Russia's strongest reformers have succeeded overnight. After
all, communism was a 7-decade forced march to a dead end; and
no nation went further down that road than Russia.
It is beyond our prerogative and power to determine
Russia's future, but we can work together on a bipartisan basis
to explore every avenue for cooperation with Russia on the
fundamental questions of arms control, nonproliferation and
regional security. We can reach out to the people of Russia and
help them strengthen their democratic institutions from the
ground up, and we can back our words and our interests with
resources so that the next President and Secretary of State
will have the funds they need to lead not only to Russia but
around the world.
Mr. Chairman, whether one serves as a Cabinet Secretary or
as a Member of Congress, we are all acutely aware that we only
occupy temporarily the chairs of responsibility in American
government. But we know as well that America's responsibilities
are permanent, and we all do our best in the time allotted to
serve well our Nation and its people. As I have said, it has
been my privilege during the past 7 and three-quarter years to
combine my service to our great country with that of the
Members of this Committee.
I listened to your statement very carefully, Mr. Chairman,
and to yours, Congressman Gejdenson, and I would like to say
that I am very glad to have an opportunity to talk about U.S.-
Russia relations. I didn't come to thinking about U.S.-Russia
relations when I began to sit behind the sign. I have spent my
entire adult life studying Russia, the Soviet Union and then
Russia again. I have taught about it, I have thought about it,
and I welcome the opportunity to discuss it.
I hope that you would see from my statement that the
Clinton Gore Administration has not seen Russia through rose-
colored glasses. We have been very realistic, and we have dealt
with something that has never been dealt with before, of how
you deal with a former adversary that had an empire and help to
manage the devolution of that empire to not recreate an
I am very pleased to have the opportunity to answer your
questions on this subject.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you very much, Madam Secretary.
Let me start off by asking you, in light of the complaints
by Russian journalists and democratic activists that the March
election of Vladimir Putin was somewhat rigged by huge voter
fraud, manipulation of the media and by blatant government-
sponsored attacks on Putin's opponents, how do we analyze that
Secretary Albright. Let me say there are certain facts
about the election that need to be known. Nearly 70 percent of
eligible voters participated. The election showed that basic
democratic processes and institutions are taking hold and that
the Russians citizens are comfortable about making their voices
heard at a ballot box. The OSCE called the election a massive
expression of the will of the Russian people, but they did cite
concern over unbalanced media coverage and pressure on the
What I think, and we have made this point and I just
restated it, is that, clearly, Putin did have advantages in
terms of having special access to the media. We have made that
very clear, and we have made the independence of the media very
clear. Nobody is going to believe that the Russian government
is committed to media freedom if, as I said, the independent TV
is under government control. And make no mistake, Gazprom
ownership of TV is government control. But I do think that we
need to know that Putin was the most popular candidate, and he
did appeal to the Russian people after a period of chaos.
I am not sure how much of this you want to hear, but when I
was a professor, I did a study of Russian society, and you
could see that what was going on there already in 1992 was a
sense of disorientation of the Russian people about how they
were dealing with democracy. They had a sense about democracy
and the free market, but they had lived under a different
system for 70 years. The intellectuals were excited by
democracy. The ordinary people were not sure how to handle it.
Putin in many ways by his ability to talk about order within
the chaos has appealed to the Russian people, and so I do
believe that he was elected fairly.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you.
Madam Secretary, with the increasing numbers of career KGB
agents being appointed to top government positions in the
Russian government by President Putin, some analysts are saying
that these ex-KGB personnel are a menace to Russian human
rights. I am looking at a Reuters story by Deborah Sobrinko
dated September 19th in which she states that the Internet has
played a role in support of human rights but that it is
vulnerable to tampering by members of the security services,
and that, in any event, few people in the provinces can even
afford computers, making newspapers and leaflets key sources of
information, but that the human rights picture is getting worse
in Russia's provinces. Could you comment on that for us?
Secretary Albright. I think that the situation of
information in Russia is quite different than it was in the
former Soviet Union and that it is impossible these days to
close down information sources. There are a variety of
information sources, both about what is going on there and what
is going on in the rest of the world.
We have made very clear, and I will say it again, about the
importance of independent media. But I truly do think that the
world is watching what is going on in Russia, and there are
vast amounts of people who want to see democracy succeed. As I
said, there are the nongovernmental organizations at the local
areas where reformers are trying to change the system.
I do not see Russia as again being governed in the sinister
way that is described in that article. I think clearly there
are problems, but I believe that there are certain changes in
Russia that are now irreversible that we need to support and
not see it again in this kind of sinister way.
Chairman Gilman. Madam Secretary, with regard to U.S.
interests in Russia and with Russia, what are we doing, for
example, to insist that Russia halt its efforts to end
sanctions on Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Can you tell us your
feelings about that?
Secretary Albright. As I have said, the sanctions regime
for Iraq has held longer than any in the history of these kinds
of regimes, 10 years. There have been lots of discussions. When
I was permanent representative, I was very much a part of them;
and I now obviously give instructions on how we deal with the
What is interesting is that, no matter the discussion about
whether the sanctions are fair and whether the Iraqi people are
suffering, all members of the Security Council, including the
Russians, agree that Resolution 1284 is the guiding resolution.
We are not happy about the fact that these flights are, we
believe, not being dealt with in the way that we would through
the Sanctions Committee, and we wish that the Russians would
take a position that is closer to ours. But you do need to
remember that everybody--the Russians, the French and others
who may disagree--is saying that Resolution 1284 is a valid
Chairman Gilman. Madam Secretary, what about Russia's
nuclear and ballistic missile technology proliferation to Iran
which continues today? What can we do to stop that and what do
you plan to do?
Secretary Albright. This is a subject of discussion at all
times and at all levels. We have made our concern very clear.
We have sanctioned the various entities that have been
involved, and it is a regular part of our dialogue with the
Russians. They know about our concern on it. I think we are
making progress, but it is an area of concern. President
Clinton has talked to President Putin. I have talked to the
foreign minister, and across the board it is a matter of
Chairman Gilman. Madam Secretary, will you insist that
Russia close down the espionage station in Cuba and end the
financial support that the rent for that station gives to the
Cuban regime annually?
Secretary Albright. This is an intelligence issue, and I
would prefer to discuss it in a different venue.
Chairman Gilman. My time has expired.
Mr. Gejdenson. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Even in the old Soviet days, the Russian people figured out
what was on the level and what wasn't. When I was there in
1982, I was told continuously that the two newspapers at that
time were Pravda and Izvestia. One was truth; one was news. And
the Russian saying was, in pravda, there is no izvestia; in
izvestia, there is no pravda. ``In truth, there is no news; and
in news, there is no truth.''
Again, I really marvel at how far we have come, where there
is an opposition press, Internet reporting is as rough and
raucous as anywhere in the world, and I think that some of my
colleagues are often looking to almost recreate the Cold War
confrontation. I want to tell you how important it is, while we
continue to confront the Russians in areas where they fail to
meet democratic standards, that we need to engage them and not
We need to, frankly, do more commercial transactions with
them, many of which are to the advantage of American technology
companies, so that Russia's only markets aren't with rogue
nations; and I really think Congress has often damaged
opportunities to build a more solid relationship with
legitimate Russian enterprise.
Let me ask you two basic questions. One is the situation in
Belarus. My father survived World War II because of the courage
of two families in Belarus that hid them, my father and his
brothers; and it is the worst of the former Soviet states in
the direction it is going. Mr. Lukashenko seems to have Stalin
as his model for governance. What do you think is happening
there? How are our European allies helping or not being
Secondly, on the northern European initiative on the
rotting submarines in Murmansk, how we can lead the effort to
continue the cleanup there, which really has the potential of
being a major international environmental disaster?
Secretary Albright. If I might comment on your opening or
what you said at the beginning before you asked the questions,
I think that I cannot say often enough that we cannot recreate
the enemy. If we do that, we do it at our own peril.
I taught a course--and I won't take 50 minutes to answer
this question--on U.S.-Soviet relations from the Revolution on.
Both countries missed huge opportunities to have a different
relationship. We are at a crucial turning point. If we see
everything in red terms, we are in trouble. It is much more
complicated than that. I am very discouraged by some of the
comments already made, because I think we are going down the
wrong path if we see everything as going down a black hole
We understand the information issue; and to go back on
something that the Chairman said, we have funded the creation
of over 80 public-access Internet sites because we agree that
access to information is important. And it is going on. It is
not perfect. We have problems with the media.
As far as Belarus is concerned, I think we are very
concerned about what Lukashenko has done to dismantle
democracy. He has violated the constitution, he has disbanded
the legitimate parliament, and he has been really implicated in
the disappearance of some prominent opposition members. Many
Russians remain skeptical about Lukashenko's motives, despite
the fact that some of them would like to see this unified
approach of Belarus and Russia, but many members of the
government and the Russian Duma have expressed concern about
the cost of this unification for the Russian economy.
We have worked very hard in Moscow and with our allies to
make sure that we do not support what the Lukashenko regime has
been doing, and we are not planning and have asked them not to
send observers to the fall parliamentary election, which will
be neither free nor fair. There is no difference in your view
of Belarus and ours.
As far as the Murmansk issue, I will have to get you a more
complete answer on what we are doing with that.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Leach.
Mr. Leach. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
Perspectives are always difficult to apply to issues of the
day, and no one wants to be discouraged, but frankness requires
some assessments that are not precisely rosy at this time.
Arguably, despite some rather terrific advancements in the
democratic institutions, the situation in Russia is worse in
many different ways than it was a decade ago, and American
relations are worse in many different ways than it was a decade
Statistics speak for themselves. Today, the Russian economy
is 25 percent smaller than it was in 1992. Today, fewer than 40
percent of Russian babies are born healthy. Today, more than 10
percent of Russian first graders suffer some form of mental
retardation. Whereas 70 percent of the Russians had a favorable
view of the United States in 1993, only 30 percent do today.
Now, there are those that always like to assess that, when
things go wrong, perhaps American foreign policy is at fault. I
don't view it that way. I think most of the accountability is
within Russia itself, but I do believe that there is some
legitimacy to some of the critiques of American foreign policy.
I don't want to go to the extreme of Professor Cohen who is
perhaps considered one of America's preeminent Russian scholars
today. He suggested that our foreign policy is an unmitigated
disaster. He said it is the worst foreign policy since Vietnam,
with consequences of more long-term end perils. That is an
Many have cited the concern--and, frankly, of all of the
concerns I as an individual have--that our government has not
identified with the problems of the Russian people and more
closely identified with the new Russian ruling elite in the new
Russian oligarchy, and this is a matter of deep concern.
No one in this Congress wants to turn their back on Russia.
A lot of people want to see policies put in place that benefit
the Russian people more. But we don't see that occurring.
I just wonder if you could look back at your time as
Secretary of State and suggest where perhaps our policy, their
policy, the intermingling of both policies may have had some
difficulties; and are there any lessons to be learned as we
look forward to a new century of relations with this seminally
Secretary Albright. In many ways, it is unfortunate that I
am here answering questions on a subject that I know too much
about. It is very hard to limit, especially when you have asked
such a broad and interesting question.
I think that the relationship between the United States and
the Soviet Union, now Russia, over this century have been
extremely complicated in many ways, but simpler for the period
of the Cold War because we understood that they were the enemy
and we went at it in a very systematic and careful way.
Since the end of Cold War, I believe there was an
immediate--immediately after it, a tremendous amount of
euphoria about what it was possible to do with Russia and
Eastern and Central Europe; and to some extent all of us were a
part of it. I found again this survey that I did in 1992, which
was also in Central and Eastern Europe and Russia, in some ways
a cold shower even then, because it showed how difficult it is
for countries that had been under this kind of a system to all
of a sudden be able to enjoy the fruits of openness and
democracy and a free market system.
One of the things I always say about the free market system
in Russia, they all said they were for it; and it was like a
personality test. On the first page, you ask, are you an
extrovert; and you say yes. And on the third page, you ask, do
you like people; and you say no. There is some problem.
So they were all for the free market system, but when you
began to talk about do you believe in profit and banks and
mortgages, whatever indicators there are, they didn't agree
with that. So there was a lot to learn, and I think many people
probably didn't get the profoundness of the change that was
I think that we have done a lot to identify with the
ordinary people. About a third of our assistance goes to local
government and NGOs and dealing at the local level.
If you believe, as we did and I believe many of you do,
that the nuclear threat is a very large one, then our threat
reduction, which is the large part of our program, you have to
deal with the central government. It isn't a mayor in some
local area that is in charge of nuclear weapons, and that is
the major problem that we have.
I believe we have identified very carefully with the local
people. We deal with the elected officials, and I think you
can't expect anything else.
I also, having been an academic myself, I can understand
academic rivalry, and some of the quotes come from people who
have a certain sense of rivalry.
Mr. Leach. I appreciate that. But some of the stiffest
criticism comes from your former boss, Zbigniew Brzezinski, so
I don't want this to be understood as a rival academic. These
statistics are extraordinary, and they are deeply tragic. And I
personally believe that the changing system itself is
traumatic, and that systemic change is at the root of part of
the problem. But I will say that, from a sheer economic
perspective, it would be very, very hard to say that we have
interrelated well with this great titan of a country.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired. Thank
you, Mr. Leach.
Mr. Lantos. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, let me just take a moment to express my
highest admiration for the quality of work you have done for
this Nation as our Secretary of State.
Your childhood shaped your values; and they taught you to
be engaged and involved, to be an activist, to stand up to
dictators, whether they are called Hitler or Stalin or Slobodan
Milosevic. You have done that with great style, and it will
take a long time fully to appreciate the extraordinary quality
of your service as Secretary of State.
You asked rhetorically in your opening comments whether any
of us have seen the old Soviet Union. Well, let me tell you, I
first visited the old Soviet Union in 1956, and most recently I
visited Russia earlier this month, and in between I have been
there on countless occasions. I think it is important for us to
understand that enormous strides have been made in transforming
this vast country into an image which is infinitely more to our
liking than we had any reason to expect just a few years ago.
Since some of my Republican colleagues are highly critical
of the performance of this Administration during the last 8
years, let me just remind them, in all friendship, that the
Soviet Union collapsed in 1989. This Administration came to
power in 1993. The greatest moment for our potential impact on
Russia was during the former Bush Administration between 1989
One of my colleagues quoted the statistic that there was a
more favorable attitude toward the United States in 1993 than
there is today, which is true. There was a lot more favorable
attitude toward the United States in 1989 and 1990 and 1991 and
1992. The Russians had great expectations, many of them
unrealistic, with respect to U.S.-Russian relations; and they
were disappointed during the first early years of the collapse
of the Soviet regime.
Madam Secretary, I want to deal with a couple of issues
that I think are of enormous importance for the future.
Clearly, the most valuable single thing we have done in the
period since the collapse of the regime, apart from the nuclear
weapons issue, has been to bring to this country large numbers
of young Russians. We have now brought thousands and thousands
of young men and women to this country. I have met with scores
of them, and they clearly represent the most significant value
for the long run in terms of changing Russian attitudes.
I believe that your department and other agencies need
desperately to have their resources increased to deal with this
issue and other foreign policy issues. Last Friday, Madam
Secretary, one stock, Intel, lost more value in one day--four
times more value in one day than your entire annual budget.
Intel's $90 billion loss in value represents 4 years of the
State Department's budget, and I think this is a hell of a
condemnation of the value we place on the importance of
conducting foreign policy across the globe.
I also would like to ask you to comment on attacks,
particularly of Vice President Gore, in the Russian field. I am
convinced, Madam Secretary, that we have never had a president
or vice president more knowledgeable and more hands-on with
respect to dealing with Russia than we have in Vice President
All of the criticism that has been leveled at you and him
and at the President with respect to money laundering and
noninvolvement with Russian crime are demonstrably untrue. In
1997, your Administration made a strong representation to the
Russians to clean up their act with respect to money
laundering, to clean up their act with respect to tolerating
I also would like to suggest that your position of
remaining engaged with the Putin regime is the only rational
position. Sometimes those who would like to go back to
isolationist approaches are the ones who simultaneously expect
an all-powerful U.S. Influence in Russia, and the two are
I would be grateful for your reactions.
Secretary Albright. Let me, first of all, talk about the
relationship that the Russians think that they have with the
United States and the point that you made so clearly about what
they expected between 1989 and 1993.
Again, and I refer to this survey that I did, these were
focus groups and also a huge survey. Ordinary Russians believed
that the United States would do something like the Marshall
Plan. They expected massive assistance, and they did see that
all of a sudden they had the opportunity to say that and they
were embarrassed by what the Soviet Union had done, and they
had this feeling that they had a new opportunity.
There clearly was no Marshall Plan, or even sums of money
that come anywhere near. We have, thanks to all of you, been
able to rename the State Department the Truman Building, which
allowed us to go back and look at what the resource base was.
In today's dollars, it was $100 billion that the State
Department had at that time for our policies, and now it is one
penny out of every Federal dollar. It is ridiculous.
I have to tell you that the most embarrassing thing is that
this--the richest and the most powerful country in the world
spends one penny out of every Federal dollar on its diplomacy.
I fully support the defense budget, but our diplomats and our
diplomacy are the first line of defense, and I think people
need to understand that we can't do it. We can't be the leaders
of the world with the kind of budget slashes that are in
Congress now--$2 billion below what we even asked. It is the
most outrageous thing, and I hope that can be rectified.
As far as the exchanges, I think that we really want to--
that is a hugely successful program, and we would like to see
increases in that. Because that is how you really can make a
difference. I appreciate your support on that.
Now, in terms of this Administration, Congressman Leach
said that we weren't dealing enough with other levels of
government or ordinary people. Through the Gore Commission and
all of his various partners in that, that is the way that we
have managed to get into kind of the interstices of the
government. There are subgroups and subcabinet groups, and they
are working on every conceivable issue to do with U.S.-Russia
relations on environment, on nuclear issues, scientific
exchanges, across the board. I think it is a remarkable way to
do business. It is the way that you get into the lower levels
and layers, and the Vice President and that commission has
taken a huge lead.
I really do think that saying that this Administration has
not paid attention to corruption and money laundering is
ridiculous. It is a major point of our discussions with the
Russians and with everybody else, frankly. We have pushed on
that. We mention it in every meeting. I have, the Vice
President has, the President has, and I really find that as a
charge that has no credibility whatsoever.
I also think what really troubles me is that we are--I am
sitting here and saying that we have a realistic view of
Russia. In my opening remarks and in all of my remarks you have
seen that I am not bending over one way or the other. We are
frank. I tell it like it is. We have problems, but we cannot
recreate the enemy.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired. I am
going to caution all Members regarding the Secretary's schedule
and ask for their cooperation. The Secretary has to leave by
noon, and if you want a full explanation with regard to your
questions, please don't spend the full 5 minutes on a lecture.
Mr. Smith. Thank you, very much.
Madam Secretary, welcome to the Committee. I would like to
ask two basic questions, the first dealing with Chechnya and
the second on the issue of corruption.
First, I have held numerous hearings in the Commission on
Security Cooperation on Chechnya and clearly have been very
critical of many of those involved. I think we have done far
As a matter of fact, former National Security Adviser
Brzezinski under President Carter testified on the Senate side,
``It is tragically the case that the Administration's
indifference to what has been happening in Chechnya has
probably contributed to the scale of genocide inflicted on
Chechens. The Kremlin paused several times in the course of its
military campaign in order to gauge the reactions of the West,
yet all they heard from the President were the words, `I have
no sympathy for the Chechen rebels.' '' That was in April of
We had many people, Elena Bonner and many other people, the
wife of Andrei Sakharov, Nobel Peace prizewinner, take the
Administration to task for not stepping up to the plate and
saying, how awful. Yes, we know war is awful but there would be
a penalty if the terrible scorched earth policy in Chechnya
began. We provided about $20 billion in U.S. aid to Russia. We
have not lifted a finger to say to the IMF and the World Bank
that there is a conditionality to those funds if and only if
this terrible war stops. Yes, there have been some rhetorical
statements made on it, but we all know in the early days of
Chechnya, which claimed 80,000 casualties, the State Department
said it was analogous to our own Civil War back in the 1860's.
That, according to many of our witnesses, including Elena
Bonner, gave the green light to the Russians at a crucial time
when they could have said, will there be a penalty or not? How
far do we probe? And now they have Chechnya II.
My second point has to do with the corruption issue. I led
the delegation to the OSC parliamentary assembly in Bucharest,
and our whole focus was on corruption. Yet in this report put
out by the Speaker's Advisory Committee there is a very, very
strong criticism of the 1995 CIA report that was dismissed as
bull, fill in the rest, by Vice President Gore.
I chair the State Department's Authorizing Committee, and
yet we now have testimony from a number of people, including
Donald Jensen on Frontline, who says that cable was squashed
with regards to corruption because it didn't fit into the
paradigm and the parameters of giving good news about what was
That raises serious questions for all of us. This report,
you can dismiss it, and I don't want to sugarcoat or engage in
any kind of hyperbole. We need honesty and transparency. This
seems to suggest that being in league, however unwittingly,
with the Mafia and bad characters in Russia somehow has to be
put aside and swept under the table.
I would appreciate a response to Chechnya and to the
corruption issue and particularly as the corruption issue is
spelled out in this Speaker's advisory report.
Secretary Albright. Dr. Brzezinski and Alexander Haig came
to see me about Chechnya. I have the highest respect for both
of them, and I fully disagree with what they say. One of these
days I will be a ``former,'' and then I will see what I can
I really do think here that we have a problem. Chechnya is
a very serious issue, and I have made that very clear publicly
and privately to the Russians. I have told them that there is
no military solution to Chechnya and that they have a political
way to deal with it.
I led the charge at the OSCE in Istanbul to make sure that
they understood that they needed to have international access
to Chechnya and that we agree with some of the statements that
Mary Robinson, the Human Rights Commissioner at the U.N., has
Every time I speak to Igor Ivanov, I raise the subject of
Chechnya and the wanton crimes that are taking place there
against the people. We have made that very clear, and we will
continue to do so.
I think Chechnya is a disaster for the Chechens and for the
Russians. It is a very serious issue, and it is one that is on
our plate, and we make no bones about it. I never said--I have
to make clear, I have never made any--I have never indicated
that I have any room for what is going on in Chechnya, and I
will continue to do that.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Berman. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Let me just quickly say that I consider it an honor to have
had an opportunity to deal with you both as ambassador and now
as Secretary of State. I am absolutely convinced that on a
variety of the critical issues and notwithstanding some of the
most partisan assaults on American foreign policy over the past
8 years, you have made a tremendous mark and particularly a
mark on elevating to the level of the Secretary of State a deep
concern about humanitarian questions, human rights issues,
questions of genocide, and have been a fighter within the
Administration and in terms of public opinion as well in
galvanizing support for America to play a role in trying to
reduce the carnage, to get involved and not turn away.
I am dying to see--I may die if I see--what the great
eminences surrounding the Republican candidate for president,
who love to criticize our overinvolvement in these issues, will
do when these questions come up in the future. And they will
come up. I hope I don't have an opportunity to test that
proposition, but it is so easy to pick--but on the big moral
questions you come down over and over again on the right side
and fought against those who wanted to be--have a level of
caution that would only allow the carnage to go on, fought to
Martin Indyk is a friend. I believe what someone who has
served this country so well is going through is terrible. But
my questions don't involve Martin Indyk as a person. They
involve two specific issues.
The State Department has said, its security people have
said that as the law enforcement agencies and it investigates
this issue, one thing they can state is that there is no
evidence of espionage and there is no evidence of turning over
unclassified materials to unauthorized sources. Given that and
given the critical role that he plays in the peace process that
you have devoted so much time to, the President is so committed
to, why can't he be allowed to serve his functions as--in the
peace process, in that very important but limited area, dealing
with his contacts in the Middle East--he is a critical part of
your team in this area, and he can perform so many of these
functions without regard to his ability to see and have access
to classified materials that I would argue that having him
there hampers our efforts to reach a successful conclusion.
That is the specific question.
The more broad question is the remarkable article in the
New York Times on Monday where some of our most distinguished
career diplomats, some named, some unnamed, but they sounded so
distinguished, Sam Lewis, Mort Abramowitz, others, said if a
key top diplomat had to look at all of his cables and all of
the documents, they would be locked either in the State
Department or embassy 20 hours a day; they could not have done
Somewhere we have to rethink the reality of how people
function and perform their jobs. Obviously, security is a
critical concern. Some people like to use security as a
political assault weapon on these questions. I am very
sensitive to that. But surely there are some rules of reason
that apply here, and I am wondering to what extent those
policies should be revisited.
Secretary Albright. Let me say--and Mr. Chairman, I would
really request that I have a chance to answer this--the issue
of security is a very important one and a difficult one in this
age of technology and changes in the end of the Cold War.
We have had some security lapses at the State Department
where a missing laptop and various aspects drew everybody's
attention to the fact that we needed to make sure that our
security regulations, government-wide security regulations, are
properly carried out. I made clear that we had to have zero
tolerance and that all Foreign Service and Civil Service,
everybody who works in the State Department, would have to also
be judged on how security conscious they were and how they
carried out their obligations. Which is one of the reasons that
we are asking also for the Under Secretary for Security,
because we have had buildings blow up and a variety of issues
that are security related that require a great deal of
I think there are many hard things that I have done while I
have been Secretary, but the Martin Indyk issue is among the
most difficult. The recommendation came to me from the
professional security people. My only opportunity in this was
to overturn a recommendation.
Mr. Berman. A recommendation that he be suspended from
seeing classified information?
Secretary Albright. Correct.
Mr. Berman. I am not challenging that.
Secretary Albright. He has not lost his position as
ambassador, and I think that has been a misinterpretation. We
are trying to figure out what we can do within the requirements
of the investigation. Because I do think that Ambassador Indyk
has been a valued person in the peace process, and an already
difficult process is made more difficult.
But I need everybody's understanding on the fact that the
security issues generally are very difficult in this day and
age. We may be overclassifying, all of us, throughout the
government. I am trying here to find a middle ground in terms
of not having witch-hunts or being lax. These are hard
decisions, and I think we cannot have a culture of laxity as
far as security issues are concerned.
Martin is a good friend and a highly respected colleague,
and this has been very difficult, but I do believe that we must
have proper security.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
We have a number of Members who want to ask questions of
the Secretary. I ask you, please don't lecture. Ask the
question early on so that we can move quickly to our other
Mr. Berman. Is that a bipartisan request or just a
Chairman Gilman. It is a bipartisan request. Mr.
Mr. Berman. It is only to our side.
Mr. Rohrabacher. I will get straight to my questions.
Madam Secretary, 2 years ago you committed to me, at a
hearing similar to this, that I would have all of the documents
made available to me to examine concerning American policy
toward Afghanistan. Because I made the charge then and continue
to make the charge today, that there has been a covert policy
of support of the Taliban by this Administration in
Madam Secretary, just today we finally got word from the
State Department that the final batch of documents would be
available. Do you think 2 years, 2 years, is a good-faith
effort on the part of the State Department to comply with a
request, a legitimate request from a member of an oversight
committee to your department?
Secretary Albright. Congressman, we have been looking at
the material and have had your request, and I believe that we
have done it as expeditiously as possible.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Two years.
Secretary Albright. You now have it.
Mr. Rohrabacher. It is not in my possession; and finally we
got a call today, after 2 years of requesting, that leads
people to suspect that perhaps the suspicions about American
policy in Afghanistan are accurate.
Secretary Albright. Could I say absolutely, whatever the
problem has been in delivering documents, I can tell you that
we have done nothing to support the Taliban.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Every time Rick Inderfurth, your
assistant, goes to Pakistan, there is an offensive shortly
thereafter by the Taliban wiping out their opponents; and we
will go into that at another hearing at another time, perhaps,
not in front of the public.
Madam Secretary, your claim that we are not spending enough
money because of our balanced budget commitment here in
Congress for diplomatic needs, especially concerning the former
Soviet Union, it rings a little bit hollow. Let me ask you, how
does that stack up with the fact that there have been billions
of dollars that we know that we have provided to the Soviet
Union that have just disappeared? We have all heard and seen
those reports. Are those reports inaccurate?
Secretary Albright. There is no Soviet Union. It is Russia.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Former Soviet Union, I said.
Secretary Albright. We have given money. We have accounted.
We work on accounting the money that has been provided in a
variety of ways. I believe that we have done a very good job in
terms of giving and getting the money to the right places.
Obviously, we need to continue to track it very carefully.
Mr. Rohrabacher. There has not been missing hundreds of
millions or billions of dollars in IMF loans that have been
extended to the Russian government?
Secretary Albright. I think there have been some questions
that we have tried to follow up. But I believe it is in our
national interest to be able to provide assistance to reduce
the nuclear threat and to help with the local government.
I have tried very hard through my tenure as Secretary of
State, as I said, I have had my partisan instincts surgically
removed. I may have to go see the surgeon again very quickly.
But I do think that we have to have some consistency here.
Either we are not involved with Russia and are letting the
children die and not doing enough and they hate us, or we are
doing too much. I don't get it.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Madam Secretary, being concerned about
starving children to the point that you throw money down a rat
hole, where corrupt people are stealing hundreds of millions of
dollars--yet we still pour money down that rat hole, and then
complaining to Congress that we are not giving you more. I
don't believe that the American people hear that with a
Secretary Albright. I respect the American taxpayers. To go
back to what Congressman Berman said, it is in U.S. national
interests to see where humanitarian horrors are happening, and
I hope that we never think that it is not, and the American
taxpayers support that.
Mr. Rohrabacher. Sometimes we have an honest disagreement
as to where to draw that line when we are dealing with a
corrupt government. What about weapons transfers? As we are
providing that aid to Russia and Russia is providing weapons to
Communist China that are designed to kill American sailors, to
sink American aircraft carriers, like the destroyers that were
recently transferred from Russia to China?
Secretary Albright. As I understand it, they do not pose
any threat, and I really do think that we are watching various
I am not going to say that everything in our dealings with
Russia is perfect. It is not. There are problems. We raise it
with them. There are questions. We will continue to ask
questions. There is corruption. We raise those questions all
the time. But I think we have to keep this in context as to
what is going on in terms of our trying to develop a
relationship with a former adversary which serves U.S. national
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me echo all of the kudos that you have received today.
I, for one, am convinced that Rick Inderfurth is not working
for the Taliban. I want to put that out as a matter of record.
Before I pose a question, because I want to make an
observation, the Chairman in his opening remarks made
references to the INL, with implications that I interpreted as
somewhat negative. I want you to know that I, for one, have
great respect for the INL. Randy Beers does a tremendous job.
You have people on the ground in very, very difficult
situations, particularly in Colombia, that are doing heroic and
extraordinary work. They have the admiration and respect of not
only American agencies such as the DEA but clearly the senior
officials from the Colombian National Police. So I think it is
important to get that out there.
Secretary Albright. Thank you.
Mr. Delahunt. I am also very happy that our Secretary of
State doesn't believe everything that is stated in a Reuters
news story about some vague analyst talking about something
that I didn't even quite understand. This is very reassuring.
Chairman Gilman. Do you want a response by Reuters?
Mr. Delahunt. Let me get to my questions.
The role of the Russian and Putin government in terms of
North Korea and what hopefully appears to be a change in
attitude as far as North Korea is concerned regarding its
relationships with the rest of the world and also in terms of
the recent elections in Belgrade, has there been any early
indication of the Putin government's reaction to the
Secretary Albright. Let me say that, in terms of North
Korea, it fits into something that I tried to say before, that
there are certain areas with which we will disagree with the
Russians, where our interests are not the same, and certain
areas where we have common interests. North Korea is one where
we have a common interest. We think that it is very important
that the issue of missiles and nuclear potential, there is
something that needs to be dealt with, and we have had a very
As far as the Balkans, as I said, the Russians are serving
with us in Kosovo and Bosnia. They are part of the contact
group. We have many discussions about it. We just had a meeting
in New York with the contact group in terms of how we move
forward in, hopefully, a post-Slobodan Milosevic era.
I spoke to Foreign Minister Ivanov yesterday about what is
happening in Belgrade. They are watching it very carefully, and
I will speak to him later this afternoon. I think that--and
Foreign Minister Vadreen is there today also. We are all
watching very carefully, and the Russians had a monitoring
group there from the Duma that had varied views, and they are I
think formulating their reaction.
Mr. Delahunt. I would hope that you would communicate that
the expression I think of this particular Committee is that the
Russians do have a potentially very critical role in what
evolves in terms of the aftermath of those elections, and we
will be watching that closely.
Secretary Albright. I agree, and I appreciate very much
that comment. I will use it to good use later.
Mr. Delahunt. Thank you.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you very much.
Mr. Chabot, I am going to suggest that, since the Secretary
has only 35 minutes left and we have 12 Members remaining to
interrogate, that we reduce the time for questions to 3 minutes
for each Member. Without objection. Mr. Chabot.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
I would like to use my time to discuss another important
I want to thank you, Madam Secretary, for taking the time
last week to meet with me and with the gentleman from
Cincinnati, Tom Sylvester. Many Members on the Committee will
remember that Tom is one of those unfortunate left-behind
parents whose daughter, Carina, is the victim of international
parental child abduction. His daughter was stolen from him when
she was 13 months old. She just turned 6 last week, and for 5
years Tom has been trying to play a part in his daughter's
He played by the rules. He won all of the way up the
ladder, all of the way up to the Austrian Supreme Court, yet he
still does not have his daughter.
I can assure the Secretary that her personal interest in
this case is appreciated not only by Tom Sylvester but by many
other left-behind parents in this country. Madam Secretary, you
have sent a message to those thousands of parents that they are
not fighting this battle alone, and you are to be highly
commended for your actions. We very much appreciate your effort
to contact the Austrian chancellor on Tom and Carina's behalf,
and we hope that you will be able to share some positive news
with us either today or sometime in the very near future.
Madam Secretary, I want to thank you for your courtesy and
intervention. Your work on behalf of the stolen children and
their parents is very much appreciated, and I want to thank you
Secretary Albright. Thank you. I was very moved by the
meeting with Mr. Sylvester. I called Chancellor Schuessel as
quickly as I could get him. I had a conversation with him. I
think it is a serious issue that needs to have constant
prodding, he said he would relook at things, but I can't give
you a detailed report at this moment. But I did call
immediately, and I will stay with it as we also look at a
variety of cases like this. I think it is one of the very
difficult aspects of our societies these days. I was very moved
by Mr. Sylvester.
Mr. Chabot. Thank you for your action. This Committee
passed bipartisan legislation; Nick Lampson, a Democrat from
Texas, has given speech after speech on the floor of the House
trying to highlight this issue; and I would just encourage you
and all other American officials when we are dealing with other
governments to bring this issue up and let them know that good
relations with the United States are dependent on their
following The Hague convention, an agreement which they signed.
Unfortunately, many, including Austria and Germany and Sweden
and others, are not complying.
Thank you for your time and attention, and we hope that you
will continue to work on this in the future.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Mr. Chabot.
Mr. Hastings. Thank you, Madam Secretary, for the good run
for 7 and a half and almost 8 years.
I sat here and I listened to my colleagues, and it began to
sink in on me that I have had the good fortune of traveling
with the Chairman of this Committee around the world on two
occasions with stops in many places that you have visited. I
would like to use my time to say to you, whether I have been in
Africa or Asia or Australia or in the United States or the
Middle East or India or Europe, you are held in the highest
esteem by the people who are in diplomatic circles with whom I
have interfaced, and interlocutors in China as well as
elsewhere in the world. I would just like to add my thanks as
my colleagues have for the tremendous service that you have
given, as well as this Administration, to the world.
I would like to lift from your prepared remarks two
segments that I think are important because, as my colleague,
Chris Smith, with whom I serve in the Organization for Security
and Cooperation in Europe pointed out, corruption is an issue
of vital concern for those of us that are policymakers. You did
not have the time to say what I do have 1 minute to say and
that is that, in 1995, President Clinton in Moscow called for a
market based on law, not lawlessness. Deputy Secretary Talbott
in 1996 told President Yeltsin and Prime Minister Chernomyrdin
that they must bring under control the epidemic of crime and
In 1997, Vice President Gore took the lead in pressing
Russia to enact money laundering and anti-crime legislation.
That same year, Secretary Summers of the Treasury declared that
we must recognize that a successful campaign against crime and
corruption must begin at the top.
I know for a fact that in speeches here and elsewhere in
the world you have constantly decried corruption, so I don't
know what my colleagues are talking about. I don't know what
special leverage they have that will cause them to be able to
wave a magic wand and cause corruption in an area where 70
years of oppression has existed. I find that difficult.
Let me talk briefly and end by saying that there are other
things that need to be looked at that and should be lifted from
your prepared remarks. Our exchange programs have enabled
nearly 45,000 Russian leaders of tomorrow to witness firsthand
the workings of America's free market democracy, not to mention
the interparliamentary exchanges that evidently some of my
colleagues have forgotten that we participate in.
More than a quarter million Russian entrepreneurs have
benefited from our training and consulting on small loans. We
have developed independent Russia media which now include more
than 300 regional television stations. We have aided
independent trade unions in seeking to establish their legal
rights, and we have assisted thousands of nongovernmental
organizations striving to build Russia's democracy from the
I don't think that the whole picture is bleak. I know that
there is more to be done, but what you said is that you are not
looking at this nor have you looked at Russia through rose-
colored glasses. I take seriously--and I, for one, as an
internationalist and somebody that has traveled considerably,
believe that you and this Administration have done a
I don't have any questions.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has overexpired.
Mr. Cooksey. Thank you, Madam Secretary; and I personally
think that you have added a lot of flare to the office of
Secretary of State. You have represented your gender very well.
You have a lot more backbone than a lot of men in government
politics, and I admire you for that.
Three quick questions. A year or two ago, we were getting a
lot of information about all of the bad things that were going
on in Russia, and a lot of things were true. It has quieted
down. Is that because Putin is controlling the press more so--
or are things really getting better? If you can think about
those and answer that line of question. Are things really
getting better in Russia, or is it that he is controlling the
Second, it appears that the Russia military is about to go
through a period of significant downsizing, if what Putin said
is correct. There is an indication that for financial reasons
he will have to downsize his strategic capability, ICBMs
specifically. Do you think that he really is going to do this,
or is this public propaganda that he is putting out?
The third area, has at any time our government provided any
intelligence information to the Russian military that has aided
them in carrying out their mission in Chechnya--like satellite
information, intercepted messages of phone conversations,
Secretary Albright. Thank you. Let me say the following:
First of all, as I stated in my remarks, we are concerned
about what is happening with the independent media. There is no
question about that, and we--there needs to be an independent
media armed within Russia, as in any country. And President
Putin has said that it is important. However, there cannot be
government control over it, and Gazprom ownership would
But that does not mean that, one, we do not have access to
other information, nor that, in many cases, ordinary people
don't have access to information. Because these days borders
are porous, and we have made Internet available. So there are
any numbers of ways that they now have huge amounts of
information that they didn't have before. But we are concerned
about the independent--the issue of the need for independent
I do think, in some cases, things have gotten better, as
you put it, in terms of the economy. They have benefited from
their oil revenue, and there have been some beginnings of
reform that we keep pressing on.
My own estimation is not so much because Putin is a
democrat but because he is a pragmatist and he understands that
certain reforms have to be put in place if Russia is to be a
great nation, which the Russians and he want. He is a pragmatic
person. There is a lot of psychobabble about Putin, but I think
that we need to be able to analyze where he is going. How is he
working within Russia?
On the question of the nuclear issue, we have been involved
in START III discussions. We think that the Russians are going
through a variety of discussions and debates about their
military. I believe that they do want to cut their nuclear
missiles that they have. We think that it is a good idea for us
to be involved in these START III discussions.
On the question of Chechnya, we have absolutely not done
the things that you have suggested.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Cooksey. Thank you, Madam Secretary.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Chairman Gilman. Ms. Lee.
Ms. Lee. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, I want to see join with my colleagues in
commending you for your leadership. Also, as a woman, seeing
how you have dealt with the many challenges throughout the
world that you have had to deal with, it has been remarkable.
The former Soviet Union, now Russia, was very involved in
the developing world, especially in Africa, providing technical
assistance and military assistance to many of the liberation
movements; and, oftentimes, the United States was on the other
side. I believe oftentimes the ANC had been called a Soviet
front. The ANC had actually been banned in this country for
Since the end of the Cold War, however, I am curious as to
what Russia's relationships are now and what their policies are
say, for instance, in Africa and in the Caribbean and also with
regard to Cuba. What has been Russian involvement and policies
toward Cuba since the end of the Cold War?
Let me thank you for your leadership on Africa because
there was a major void in Africa. The United States had not put
Africa where it should have been by saying that Africa didn't
matter in terms of our policy; and, of course, if history
records it correctly, that allowed Russia the opportunity to
get in there. What has happened since the end of the Cold War?
Secretary Albright. First of all, I think you have put your
finger on a very important issue as far as assistance generally
is concerned. During the Cold War, both camps gave foreign
assistance away to attract people. I think one of the reasons
that we are having trouble now in getting the right amount of
moneys for foreign assistance is that people need to see it in
a way that it is in U.S. national interest to have these
countries develop economically and with democratic governments
and not just as a counter-communist activity.
The Russians do maintain contact with some countries. I
will have to give you a more detailed answer as to with whom
and how much. I don't think that they have given their budget a
great deal of assistance money.
They continue to maintain relationships with Cuba, though
they have had very difficult ones in terms of what Cuba owes
them in terms of debt.
But I think that basically their approach at the moment is
that they are supporting peacekeeping operations, as we try to,
in various countries, but the whole approach to this is
entirely different. But I have to get you more specific numbers
as to what they are doing.
Chairman Gilman. The gentlelady's time has expired.
Ms. Ros-Lehtinen. Thank you, very much.
Following up on the issue of Cuba, Secretary Albright, it
is always a pleasure to have you with us in our Committee. It
is well documented that one of the primary tools used by the
Russians to gather political, military, economic, commercial,
and personal information about U.S. citizens and activities is
the Lourdes facility in Cuba, yet it would appear that the
Administration has followed a policy of neglect, ignoring the
impact of the Lourdes threat and allowing it to escalate.
Last year, I asked you about the upgrades and the
expansions to this facility, and you said that no upgrades had
been done. However, defense publications, newspaper reports,
academic studies, published statements by U.S. and Russian
officials all confirmed the significant investments that the
Russians have made to upgrade and expand this spy station.
Earlier this year, when you appeared before this Committee in
February, I asked you if you had discussed the Lourdes facility
with President Putin, and you did not answer. I provided you
with the questions in writing, and I still have not received an
In March of this year, several Members of Congress sent a
letter to the President with copies to you urging you to put a
hold on the debt rescheduling given to Russia's operations of
Lourdes. The argument was if the Russian federation has 200 to
300 million dollars a year to pay the Castro regime for the
leasing of Lourdes, then it has the funds to pay its debt to
the U.S. No response to us.
Then, on May 26, Chairman Gilman and Chairman Helms
received a transmittal letter advising them that a rescheduling
agreement had been signed in Moscow on that same day.
I would like to know the reasons why the U.S. rescheduled
Russian debt for the fifth time in spite of the fact that
Russia spends hundreds of millions of dollars on the leasing,
upgrading and operation of the Lourdes facility. Should the
U.S. free up funds for Russia to spy on American citizens? Do
you agree that if Russia did not spend these funds on the
Lourdes facility then it would be in a much better position to
address its economic problems domestically and meet its
financial obligations to the U.S.?
On June 16, the State Department finally responded to our
Congressional inquiries, arguing equivalency to justify the
rescheduling agreement and the maintenance of the Russian
intelligence facility at Lourdes. I don't know when the U.S.
became a debtor nation to Russia. I don't know why we would say
equivalency to justify this rescheduling agreement. I would
like to know what concrete steps the Administration has taken
to address the growing threat that is posed by the Lourdes
facility and that debt rescheduling process and why isn't it
used as a tool to----
Chairman Gilman. There won't be much time for the Secretary
to respond. Madam Secretary, please respond.
Secretary Albright. Let me say I am sorry that you feel
that you have not received proper answers on the Lourdes
facility. These are issues that I can't discuss in public, but
if you wish to have a further briefing we can arrange that.
Let me just say that, on the debt issue, that I know this
has been an issue which has been particularly controversial on
the Hill, and particularly within this Committee. I think that
it is very important to know that, as the Russian financial
situation has improved, in part due to the high oil prices, we
have heard much less about the need for debt relief, and so we
have no plans at this time to participate in any bilateral or
multilateral effort to forgive all or part of the Russian debt.
Let me say generally, as I have said before, that the
principal reason for rescheduling the debt is to maximize the
prospect of repayment in the face of an imminent default; and
that was the basis for the U.S. decision to join the August,
1999, Paris Club Agreement to reschedule Russia's Soviet-era
obligations that were falling due in 1999 and 2000.
I think that here, in looking ahead, Russia has to have a
new agreement with the IMF before the Paris club creditors
would consider any further rescheduling for Russia; and as a
part of that process there will be an examination of the
Russian financing needs. As I said, at this stage this is not
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Menendez.
Mr. Menendez. Madam Secretary, let me join my colleagues in
congratulating you in your service to our country. I have
enjoyed working with you many times in agreement, sometimes
not, but I have always admired the way in which you proceeded.
On Russia, I understand the current Administration policy
toward Russia is based on a belief that we are neither destined
to have Russia be our adversary nor guaranteed to be our
friend, and I think that is a very wise approach. I think that
the Administration, yourself, and Vice President Gore have
steered a course in a difficult period of time in Russia's
history, considering that Russia is going through three
monumental transitions--one from communism to democracy, one
from empire and nuclear threat to nation state and nuclear
partner, and from a centralized economy to a market economy. I
think that, considering those enormous transitions, the
Administration has charted a very good course. I have some
concerns, as expressed by my colleagues, but, overall, I think
the Administration has done a good job.
I do have two questions. One is, what about Putin's
overtures to countries like Iran, Iraq, Serbia? You already
talked about North Korea, where our interests converge, and
China. Can you give us a sense of your Russian counterparts as
it relates to where our interests converge and conflict in
those areas and how we see the future course of Russia in terms
of our own interests in those regions, countries with which we
have serious concerns?
Secondly, I and many of my colleagues who pursue Latin
America are very concerned about what is going on in Peru. We
are concerned about Fujimori's statements in the Herald, and we
are concerned whether or not those elections will ever take
place. The timetable has been set.
We are concerned about Montesinos' statement in Panama,
almost threatening the Panamanian government that if he doesn't
get asylum there he intends to come back to Peru. And from all
indications the allegations of corruption and the abuse of his
power as a security czar and intelligence czar there are of
great concern to us. I don't think that we acted strongly
enough when the elections were tainted as they were, but I hope
that we take this opportunity now to make possible the
democracy that should take place in Peru.
Secretary Albright. Let me say, on the first question--and
let me deal with China. The Russians and the Chinese have
something like a 3,000 mile common border. They have issues
that they need to deal with. I think we have some disagreements
with some of the approaches that they are taking with China,
but I think we fully understand that it is not a zero sum issue
as to whether they have a relationship with us or a
relationship with the Chinese.
Generally, we have questions about some aspects of--with
the others countries, Iran, missile transfer technology issues
that we raise all the time. With Iraq, we have a different
approach in terms of some of the sanctions issues, but they do
in fact, although they abstain on 1284, the resolution on Iraq,
they are following through on it.
On Serbia, I think that we have had some differences. Those
may be coming to an end because I think the people of Serbia
have spoken. I think it is very important for everyone to hear
what they have said wherever that message is heard. I think we
should congratulate the people of Serbia for having made their
voices heard so fully, and they have spoken.
On the issue of Peru, this has been to start with the
elections themselves. We worked within the OAS to make sure
that there was a dialogue system established. The OAS sent a
representative to Lima, and I believe that was helpful in terms
of moving Fujimori forward generally and looking at how he
could improve the democratic situation in Peru. And I met with
Fujimori in New York during the U.N. Session and made those
points very clearly.
On Montesinos, he is in Panama, but we do not believe that
he should have immunity, and there should not be immunity, and
I think that is our message. If there is, in fact, to be a
democratic dialogue, that has to happen; and we want to make
sure that the election process goes forward on a schedule; and
we will continue to make that point.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Bereuter. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Madam Secretary, it is nice to see you again. I most
assuredly agree with you about the starvation diet that we have
had for our State Department and our international presence
generally. I am very concerned about security issues affecting
our personnel abroad as well.
We had a little exercise at Davos last January, looking at
the biggest blunders of the 20th century, and one of the
nominations was the way that the West, with the U.S. leading,
handled aid to the former Soviet Union to Russia in particular.
Congressman Leach has given, of course, some of the
statistics--remarkably dire statistics--about what has happened
to the life of the Russian people, their health, and their
I am very critical of the way we handled the IMF loans to
Russia. I call them the Yeltsin loans. I hope that we are not
going to reinforce all of the wrong tenets, but I do understand
that our impact has been exaggerated, and the Russians have
also to take a share of the blame. I am concerned that, because
of the disillusionment, President Putin will be able to come
down hard on some of the freedoms they now enjoy with an
autocratic kind of lead appealing to nationalism and that we
are, therefore, in for a tough period in Russian-American
relations. I hope that I am wrong about that, but I don't like
the signs that I see.
I wanted to ask you, Madam Secretary, if you would like to
offer any opinions about the so-called Armenian genocide
resolution which is said to have a great effect on Turkish-
American relations and once again affects California politics
here. I know that the President of Armenia has been to Moscow
just in the last week, and I wonder if you would like to talk
about Russia-Armenian military cooperation or anything related
to this general subject in the Caucasus region.
Secretary Albright. Thank you. On the Armenian resolution,
I think that this is a very important issue, and I thank you
very much for asking because it is very much on our minds.
President Clinton has traditionally commemorated Armenian
Remembrance Day on April 24 by issuing a statement that
recognized the loss of huge numbers of innocent Armenian lives
in 1915 and after, and he has challenged all Americans to
ensure that such events never occur again. We have emphasized
to both Turkey and Armenia that we can neither deny history nor
forget it, and we need to come to terms with it. But the
legislative measures such as this one can hurt our efforts to
encourage improved relations between Armenia and Turkey. This
can't help promote peace and security in the region.
I have to tell you, frankly, that passage could also
undermine U.S. national interests in which Turkey is a partner,
not just bilateral relations with a NATO ally, but also
Turkey's cooperation on the Cyprus talks and the Nagorno
Karabagh process in Iraq. So I think that it is very important
that this resolution not go forward.
As far as people not knowing about this whole issue, I
think that people have studied this. They know it. Our Foreign
Service officers are very much aware of it, and this is
something that is of great concern to us. But this resolution
at this time is damaging.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Crowley. Madam Secretary, welcome again. It is good to
see you. I join all of my colleagues in the accolades that you
have received today for your work in a very difficult time in
the history of the world. You are performing remarkably.
I appreciate your comments on U.S.-Russian relations, and I
have a question.
My first issue is the global gag rule. I know that you have
come out strongly saying that you didn't like what happened
last year in terms of negotiations between the House and White
House and that you would hope that not happen again this year.
Could you maybe reiterate that again today and why you think
that it is bad to have that policy within our budget?
Secondly, the group known as Hadassah, the women's INS
organization of America, has applied for a special consultative
status as an NGO with the United Nations Economic and Social
Council, ECOSOC; and it is my understanding that some
countries, Syria and Lebanon in particular, have objected to
their inclusion within ECOSOC as an NGO. My office has been
working and discussing this issue with our very able Ambassador
King at ECOSOC. I am concerned that after Israel has been given
status in a subgroup within WEOG that there is still some
outstanding antisemitism and antizionism in the U.N., and I
would ask that you personally direct our mission in New York,
to use your diplomatic abilities to impress our allies on
ECOSOC NGO Committee to allow Hadassah to have the same
responsibilities and status of all humanitarian-based NGOs.
Secretary Albright. Thank you very much.
Let me just say, on the family planning issue, this was a
one-time thing where the President and I came back and said
that we needed to make sure family planning was properly funded
and there was not an international gag rule. It has tremendous
effects on the lives of women all over the world. Women have
died because they have not had the opportunity of choice, and I
think that it is very important to see this not as pro-abortion
but pro-choice. That is what this is about. We have made that
very clear. We need to put the money back that was taken out.
The United States needs to play a key role in this, and I hope
very much that we will have support, because otherwise the bill
will not see the light of day.
On the issue of Hadassah, I will look into that particular
issue, but I have to tell you that, on the whole, the
atmosphere for Israel is much better in the United Nations.
They now are allowed to be in WEOG in New York, but they want
to be in the other parts, in Geneva and the other parts of
this. We obviously want to see Israel having the full rights of
membership that they ought to have in the United Nations, and I
will look into the Hadassah issue.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Tancredo.
Mr. Tancredo. Thank you, Mr. Chairman and Madam Secretary.
Mr. Ed Pope was arrested by Russian security on April 3 during
a business trip to Russia and charged with espionage. He
suffers from cancer and may fall into ill health because of
lack of proper care. What should the U.S. do in this regard?
What can we do? Do you think that there is an opportunity for
us to press this issue along the lines of perhaps tying it to
assistance for Russia through the World Trade Organization?
Secretary Albright. Let me say that this is obviously a
very serious case, and we have raised it repeatedly at the
highest levels. The news today is that they are going to go
ahead for a trial. We believe that this is not the way that it
should be done. It is evident that this case needs to be
handled at the highest levels, and we have talked about Mr.
Pope every time that we have had the opportunity to do so. We
consider what has happened here as outrageous.
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired.
Mr. Royce. Thank you, Mr. Chairman; and thank you, Madam
Secretary, for testifying here today.
The Wall Street Journal on Friday opined that the Clinton
Administration, the government, can be faulted for assuming
that merely schmoozing with Russian leaders and funneling huge
sums of money to them would help Russia recover. They wrote
that backing the wrong Russian politicians, seeing no evil and
insufficiently monitoring the use of Western money, these
policies aggravated and entrenched the worst tendencies in
post-communist Russia while wasting the precious goodwill
America had with Russian people in the period just after they
Why do you think the top U.S. officials did not cut off
their support for IMF loans and debt rescheduling for the
Yeltsin government in 1995 and 1996 when that government set up
the thoroughly corrupt loans for shares privatization in the
highly speculative GKO bond market?
Chairman Gilman. The gentleman's time has expired. Go ahead
and answer the question.
Secretary Albright. Let me just say that I truly do think
that the allegations that somehow we have not taken seriously
what has happened in Russia in terms of the corruption and
various aspects are just wrong.
I also believe that it is very important to understand that
for us not to engage with Russia and not to be able to show
that we need to see reform cuts off an ability for us to work.
We have looked at this very carefully. We are aware of the
problems, but I think that it is a mistake to merely look at
this as we are passing out money that is going down a black
Mr. Royce. But the foreign minister of Russia said, I have
told Secretary Summers unless we have strings on this money, it
will end up in an off-shore bank account.
Secretary Albright. On the loans for shares, we strongly
oppose that. So I think the important point here is to have the
Mr. Royce. But not on the IMF loans.
Chairman Gilman. Mr. Payne.
Mr. Payne. Thank you.
Let me just compliment the Secretary of State for her
initiatives with Africa. I know that other members of the
Cabinet--Treasury, Commerce, Transportation, many others--have
gone, and we appreciate that.
Just quickly, where does peacekeeping stand in Sierra
Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Eritrea?
Could you just in a nutshell say where that stands?
Secretary Albright. At the moment, we are working on
trying to get a stronger mandate for the peacekeeping operation
there and trying to get the numbers of troops up. We need to
get our peacekeeping money operating so that we are able to
I really think, and this has to go with the point that
Congressman Berman raised before, it is in our national
interest to care about what happens in Sierra Leone. And I ask
you to look at this picture of this child. I held a child like
that in my arms when I was in Sierra Leone. It is in U.S.
national interest to do something about it.
Chairman Gilman. Madam Secretary, we thank you for your
appearance today. We wish you a safe trip, wherever you may be
headed. By unanimous consent, we will insert in the record a
written statement by Congressman Smith and statements by any
other Members. We may also forward Members' written questions
to you, and I hope you will answer them at an early date.
Again, we wish you well in all of your future endeavors.
Secretary Albright. Mr. Chairman, if I can just say one
thing. This has been a pretty sharp meeting, and I think that
it is very important that I say the following thing:
I believe that it is essential that there be a debate about
U.S.-Russia relations. It is a very important aspect of our
foreign policy, and so I appreciate the fact that these
questions have been asked, but I think we have to be fair with
each other about assessing the record and what the future is. I
truly do believe that it is a service to have a discussion
about U.S.-Russia relations. Thank you.
Chairman Gilman. We thank you for that comment.
Before you leave, Madam Secretary, let me say that there
has been some criticism of travel by Members of Congress, and I
would welcome your comment about that criticism.
Secretary Albright. Well, I have always believed that
Congressional Members should travel to see the places that we
talk about. It is the only way to learn. I have always been a
supporter of Congressional travel; and as somebody who has now
been to 118 countries, I fully support traveling.
Chairman Gilman. Thank you, Madam Secretary. I am familiar
with your prior comments on that. Once again, we wish you well.
The hearing is adjourned.
[Whereupon, at 12:04 p.m., the Committee was adjourned.]
A P P E N D I X
Material Submitted for the Hearing Record
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman, a
Representative in Congress from the State of New York, Chairman,
Committee on International Relations
The Committee will come to order.
Good Morning, Madam Secretary.
Before we begin, I would like to commend you for your many efforts
in addressing the many difficult foreign policy issues that you have
had on your watch.
Since this might be your last appearance before our committee as
Secretary of State, I thought it would be appropriate to acknowledge
the diligent work you have done in representing our nation to the
world. So, on behalf of all of our members, thank you for all you have
done. We appreciate your coming before the Committee today to address
the many issues related to our relationship with Russia.
With the indulgence of our Members and in light of your schedule,
we will have just two opening statements--by myself and by our
colleague, the Ranking Member.
Madam Secretary, we would then ask that you summarize your prepared
statement in your testimony so that we might then move quickly to our
Ladies and Gentlemen, my colleagues, this morning's hearing is
focused in large part on the past and current activities of Vladimir
Putin, the new President of Russia.
I think that we need to be concerned about several issues regarding
Mr. Putin: his rise from obscurity to the highest levels of power; the
sources of his current support; and his intentions for Russia's foreign
policy, in particular toward the United States.
Madam Secretary, within Russia there are voices of brave people who
are truly dedicated to democracy and political and economic reforms.
They are warning us that Mr. Putin is not who he would have us believe
he is. We all know, of course, that he has spent much of his life as a
career KGB agent, but we also need to look more closely at how he rose
to the presidency. He rose to the position of Prime Minister at a time
when former President Boris Yeltsin was searching for someone who could
ensure his safe departure from office. Indeed, after Putin won the
presidency, his very first action was to grant Yeltsin immunity from
Additionally, we should note the manner in which Mr. Putin won that
election. It was an election Yeltsin and Putin timed to the
disadvantage of his opponents. It was an election in which the
government-run media blatantly slandered Putin's opponents. Stories are
now emerging in Russia's independent media about massive vote rigging
for Putin in the election. That is the same independent media now being
intimidated by the Putin government. As one commentator said, the
election was nothing more than a ``velvet coup,'' manipulated to such
an extent that it simply handed power from Yeltsin to Putin.
But there is much more than that which should concern us. Those
surrounding Putin and former President Boris Yeltsin--including the
Russian tycoon Boris Berezovsky--created a brand new political party
late last year. This new party had almost no known political platform,
but it benefitted from the same kind of Kremlin support Putin later
enjoyed. That new party won a considerable number of seats in the
Russian parliament and immediately joined the Communists in excluding
reform-minded parties from leading positions in that body. Now we hear
reports that those around Putin, many of them former career KGB agents
themselves, would like to create another new party. This potential new
party would have a more left-wing face, but would really be controlled
by the Kremlin.
As one courageous Russian journalist has said, Vladimir Putin and
his supporters are now trying to create a ``managed democracy'' in
But, again, there is even more that is puzzling about this new
President and his government. Recently, we have witnessed what would
appear to be a growing disagreement between Mr. Putin and Mr.
Berezovsky has, over the years, played a central role behind the
scenes in the Yeltsin and Putin governments, and has made tremendous
profits out of the privatization process in Russia. But now, Berezovsky
is publicly criticizing the Putin government and complains that he is
under some pressures from it. However, at the same time, he and his
associates have received quiet support from the Putin government for
extremely lucrative business deals that promise them even greater
Madam Secretary, I believe that all this points to one thing: we
must be very cautious before accepting Putin as ``a man we can do
business with,'' as our President recently put it. We need to start
listening to those in Russia who truly support democracy and reforms.
Over the past several years, I have made my concerns about Russia
policy known to you and the President in correspondence, in public
articles, and in hearings on our Russia policy held by this Committee.
While Vladimir Putin's rise to power certainly stems from the situation
in Russia over the past few years, I am concerned that United States
policy toward Russia has also contributed to his rise to power. Let me
explain why I believe that.
Russians who are truly interested in democracy and reforms have
warned that our policy a policy that continued to support Boris Yeltsin
while corruption flourished around him would not result in either
democracy or reforms in Russia. Our own State Department personnel have
stated--and testified before Congress--that they tried to warn our
policymakers as early as six years ago that the policy toward Russia
had to change. Their warnings were ignored.
A clear sign that our policy was flawed was our support for the
IMF's decision to loan billions of dollars to the Russian government
while billions and billions more were being shipped out of Russia to
foreign bank accounts, month after month, year after year. Yet, nobody
in the Administration seemed willing to call the Yeltsin government to
account for its corruption. Instead, a few perfunctory statements were
made and a rather small program was designed to advise Russians on
crime and corruption.
Having failed to truly stand up to the massive corruption in the
Yeltsin government, will anybody now call the Putin government to
account for the sake of democracy?
The independent media in Russia, the one major source of
information about government corruption in that country, is now under
What is being said to Russian government officials--what is being
done by our United States officials--to halt that intimidation and
protect freedom of the press?
Today, Madam Secretary, we hope you will give us some insight into
how we got to this point in our relationship with Russia and where we
go from here.
Madam Secretary, let me say just one thing outside of the scope of
our hearing today.
With regard to your proposal for a new Under Secretary for Law
Enforcement, Security and Terrorism, I have long-held concerns
regarding the performance of State's INL office in fighting drugs. I
have to regrettably say that there are too many unknowns about
increasing the role of the State Department in law enforcement matters,
and increasing bureaucracy doesn't guarantee better coordination. We
ought not to tie the incoming Administration's hands in this area.
Prepared Statement of the Honorable Christopher H. Smith, a
Representative in Congress from the State of New Jersey
Mr. Chairman, thank you for holding this important hearing on the
question: ``How Vladimir Putin Rose to Power and What America Can
Expect?'' Under your chairmanship, this committee has kept a strong
focus on Russia--a nation that has the potential to be a positive force
in the world or one that can present immense danger to us all.
It is a pleasure to see Secretary Albright with us today. She is an
articulate and forceful voice for the Administration and I look forward
to her presentation.
Mr. Chairman, as we come to the close of an Administration that
promised us a ``strategic partnership'' with Russia, we see that this
goal has come up short. The ``strategic partnership'' has clearly been
rejected by Russia's policy makers and many Russians are now
disillusioned about democracy and the Western version of ``capitalism'
that they've seen since the fall of communism. I don't think anyone in
the Congress believed that after 70 years of communism, Russia would
turn into a full-fledged democracy with a flourishing economy
overnight, or even in ten years.
But neither did Congress believe that after all the financial aid,
the humanitarian assistance, the army of advisors, experts, and
consultants, the assessments missions, and whatever else the American
taxpayer has been funding as part of the Administration's Russia
policy, we would see so little results for our money. Russia's long-
term economic prospects are still precarious, the infrastructure is
deteriorating, and as a result of the continuing healthcare crisis, the
population is declining by an estimated 800,000 per year. At the same
time, we now have the spectacle of the U. S. Government going to court
with one of our nation's leading education institutions seeking $120
million in damages over the mismanagement if that be the word, of what
the Wall Street Journal calls the U. S. Government's ``flag-ship
foreign aid program in Russia.'' Indeed, this Committee and other
committees of the Congress have heard testimony from credible witnesses
regarding corruption in Russia, yet to the best of my knowledge the
Administration never really challenged the Yeltsin administration on
Mr. Chairman, I will repeat what I have said previously on this
subject. I am not prepared to say that all our aid to Russia has been
stolen or misused, or that none of our assistance has been beneficial.
I support projects designed to reduce the risk of nuclear accidents in
Russia. I believe that our humanitarian aid programs for Russia,
improperly administered and factually necessary, constitute a wise
investment in our future. But while some of our aid has undoubtedly
gone to worthwhile projects, much of it has obviously gone to feed the
rampant corruption in Russia. While we and other donor nations were
sending monetary and other aid into Russia, millions of dollars were
going out of Russia into foreign bank accounts for well-placed elites.
Meanwhile, Russia continues its bloody war in Chechnya. Let me say
from the outset that I have no sympathy for lawless barbarians who
kidnap and mutilate, sometimes even kill their victims because
impoverished relatives cannot come up with the ransom money. But this
does not justify total war against the Chechen people. Even pro-Moscow
Chechen officials have criticized the Russian military's ill-advised
actions in Chechnya, such as terrorizing Chechen civilians and driving
them into the ranks of the guerrillas. The Los Angeles Times recently
ran a story featuring horrifying interviews with more than two dozen
Russian soldiers returning from Chechnya. Let me quote briefly from the
article: ``What they recounted largely matches the picture painted in
the human rights reports: The men freely acknowledge that acts
considered war crimes under international law not only take place but
I believe that the Administration gave a ``green light'' to the
Yeltsin Administration during the first Chechen War, and I think once
the Russian Government and military saw that our protests would not be
backed by serious actions, the Chechen people were doomed to the hell
they are now experiencing
And if any of the electronic media outlets question Mr. Putin's
Chechnya policy or look too closely into the financial practices of
people close to the throne, there are ways of dealing with them. We all
know the problems with Mr. Gusinsky, owner of the largest independent
television network in Russia. Other media leaders, even those most
recently allied with the Putin Administration, are being squeezed out
of the picture. Russian Government officials have made it clear that
they intend, to one degree or another, to make the media a mouthpiece
for the government.
In the long run, Mr. Chairman, I am optimistic about Russia, but as
John Maynard Keynes said, ``In the long run, we are all dead.'' For our
own national interests and for the interests of the Russian people, we
need to look at the short run and the medium run. No one in Washington
has a magic wand that would solve all of Russia's problems in ten
years. But I do believe we should have kept a closer look on the
corruption in Russia, and what kind of Russia we might see a decade
after the fall of communism.
Mr. Chairman, the title of this hearing is ``How Vladimir Putin
Came to Power and What Can America Expect?'' My impression from reading
Mr. Putin's public statements and, more importantly, analyzing his
actions, is that he is going to do whatever he thinks is in the
interest of Russia, and what the United States thinks about his actions
is not all that important. Maybe that's a little harsh, maybe I've
misjudged the man. But I think we're a long way from ``Strategic
I look forward to Secretary Albright's presentation and will have
some questions to follow.
Questions for the Record Submitted to Secretary of State Madeleine
Albright by the Honorable Benjamin A. Gilman
Secretary Albright, do you agree with Amb. Scheffer that an
International Court would be better able to deal with war crimes than
our current system? And, if so, what is the Administration actively
seeking to find a way for the United States to become a party to the
The United States has long worked towards an effective
international criminal court that will function efficiently and fairly.
If that objective can be achieved, then the outcome will be preferable
to the proliferation of ad hoc tribunals and special judicial
mechanisms that have been employed to seek accountability for war
crimes and other atrocities in recent years, but require significant
financial and other support. However, we continue to have concerns
regarding the 1998 Rome Treaty of the International Criminal Court and
we are working to resolve them. Our fundamental concern with the Rome
Treaty is that it provides a possibility that U.S. official personnel
deployed overseas to preserve international peace and security and to
participate in humanitarian missions, might be surrendered to the Court
while the United States remains a non-party to the Rome Treaty.
Surrender of such personnel would have a chilling effect on willingness
of non-party states to remain engaged in peacekeeping and humanitarian
operations. We are open to discussions with other governments about how
to resolve this fundamental issue. We hope that governments can arrive
at arrangements to preserve the integrity of the International Criminal
Court and sustain the critical role of all responsible governments in
peacekeeping and humanitarian operations. Achieving such arrangements
during the ongoing Preparatory Commission talks would enable the United
States to cooperate with the Court in several areas when it is
established. The Administration has no plans at this time for the U.S.
to become a party to the Rome Treaty.
Questions have been raised about the package. As currently
configured, is it too heavily weighted toward military assistance?
The U.S. assistance package in support of Plan Colombia addresses
the breadth of Colombia's inter-related challenges and will help
Colombia in its efforts to fight the drug trade, foster peace,
strengthen the rule of law, improve human rights, expand economic
development, and institute justice reform. While it is accurate to say
that much of this assistance will go to equipment and training for the
Colombian police and military, we believe the situation is such that
Army protection is necessary in order to allow Colombian police forces
to enter the expanding coca growing areas of southern Colombia, which
are. mostly controlled by guerrillas and paramilitaries, in order to
carry out their counternarcotics responsibilities.
We also recognize the importance of Colombia's serious social and
developmental problems and are committing almost $230 million over two
years to alternative development, humanitarian relief, enhancing good
governance, anti-corruption efforts and human rights. This is in
addition to the over $4 billion that the Government of Colombia is
committing to Plan Colombia from its own resources and from loans. This
will be used for the implementation of Plan Colombia, which includes
programs such as economic development and humanitarian assistance.
Other donors, including the International Financial Institutions
(IFIs) and the European Union, are providing additional hundreds of
millions of dollars aimed primarily at strengthening social safety
nets, humanitarian assistance, and infrastructure development as well
as economic revitalization. The United States, as a member of the IMF,
World Bank, and Inter-American Development Bank, firmly supports these
institutions' programs/activities in Colombia.
Is it (our assistance package) going to make a meaningful dent on
Colombian coca production?
Yes. Current expectations are for the programs supported by the
assistance package to reduce coca cultivation by fifty percent in
Putumayo and thirty percent in the rest of Colombia in just two years.
Is it going to lead to substantial displacement of peasants
currently living in the Southern regions of Colombia where much of the
coca production takes place?
Colombia's internal conflict has already forcibly displaced
thousands of unarmed civilians fleeing fighting between paramilitaries,
guerrillas and drug traffickers.
There is a possibility of increased numbers of Internally Displaced
Persons (IDPs) resulting from the increased counterdrug activity within
Colombia. It is difficult to predict what the numbers will be, but for
planning purposes, we are using 4,000 families for CY2000. In CY2001
another 3,000 families and 15,000 day pickers may need alternative
To counter this problem, our assistance package includes funding
for emergency assistance to relocate those affected, as well as
alternative development assistance to help growers switch to licit
crops and other legal enterprises.
Funding is also included to support civil society in peri-urban
areas in order to anchor internally displaced people relocated there.
Is the Colombian Government willing and able to take the hard steps
to ensure that the human rights of its citizens are respected and that
those who abuse such rights are prosecuted--whether they are members of
the military or civilian sectors?
The Government of Colombia has demonstrated a strong commitment to
improving its human rights performance. It has taken a number of
measures to strengthen its institutional ability to promote and protect
human rights. In July, President Pastrana signed legislation
criminalizing genocide, forced disappearance, and forced displacement.
A new military penal code entered into force in August, mandating the
establishment of a legal structure outside the chain of command. Also
in August, President Pastrana issued a presidential directive directing
that crimes against humanity by security force members be tried in the
civilian justice system. On October 16, Defense Minister Ramirez used
new executive authority to dismiss 89 officers and 299 non-commissioned
officers in an effort to professionalize and restructure the armed
forces. we welcome these steps but know that more remains to be done.
We continue to raise human rights concerns in our dialogue with the
Government of Colombia at every opportunity and at every level.
President Clinton discussed human rights with President Pastrana during
his August 30 visit to Cartagena, and we believe President Pastrana and
the military high command understand the need for strong and effective
human rights measures. We have also urged the Government of Colombia to
take necessary measures to end impunity for human rights violators and
to ensure that any links between members of the security forces and
paramilitary groups be severed. We have pressed the Government of
Colombia to develop strategies to confront the paramilitaries more
aggressively and to protect the civilian population from violence and
intimidation, whatever the source.
Most importantly, how do we ensure that there is regional support
for the ongoing programs in Colombia, and that our efforts don't simply
export Colombia's civil strife and coca production to its neighbors and
thereby destabilize the entire region?
We are currently engaged in an ongoing dialogue with each of
Colombia's neighbors, and other countries affected by the violence and
narcotics trafficking in Colombia. We are encouraging the Government of
Colombia to do the same. As part of that dialogue, we are sharing with
these countries our understanding of what Plan Colombia is, and the
nature and specifics of the U.S. assistance package. We are listening
to their concerns, and giving our own estimation of how the programs
involved in Plan Colombia could affect them. Where appropriate, we are
offering assistance from our current budget, and identifying areas and
programs that will need assistance in the future, as our regional
strategy centered around Plan Colombia advances. Finally, we are
continually emphasizing to these countries the importance of regional
solidarity and the need for Colombia's friends and neighbors to support
Colombia's peace process and counternarcotics efforts, and work
together with us and the Government of Colombia to coordinate our
efforts. We are pointing out that a failure to help Colombia cope with
its problems will result in much worse consequences for its neighbors.
In this way, we hope to be able to identify quickly any problem areas
and work with them to direct appropriate resources to deal with them.
before they affect stability in the region.
Above all, we have to be honest about what is happening on the
ground. The Administration was unable to certify 6 of the 7 human
rights conditions associated with the Congressionally passed aid
package. The President opted to utilize the waiver authority included
in the legislation to move the assistance forward.
Using statutory waiver authority, President Clinton determined that
it is in the national security interest of the United States to furnish
assistance made available under the Emergency Supplemental Act to the
Government of Colombia. Our assistance package is crucial to
maintaining our counternarcotics efforts and aiding the Colombian
government and people in preserving Colombia's democracy. Moreover, it
is also in the national security interest of the United States to
promote economic reform and hemispheric stability, all of which will be
addressed by our planned support for Colombia.
Human rights remain central to the United States' bilateral
relations with Colombia. We are committed to working with the
Government of Colombia to improve its human rights performance,
especially in the areas of ending impunity for human rights violators
and ensuring that all links between members of the security forces and
paramilitary groups are severed. U.S. assistance to the Colombian
security forces is provided in strict compliance with Section 564 of
the FY 2000 Foreign Operations Appropriations Act (the so-called
``Leahy Amendment''). No assistance is provided to any unit of the
security forces for which we have credible evidence that such unit has
committed gross violations of human rights, unless the Secretary of
State determines and reports to the Appropriations Committees of the
Congress that the Government of Colombia is taking effective measures
to bring the responsible members of the security forces units to
justice. We continue to press the Government of Colombia to take strong
actions to confront the paramilitary threat and to protect the civilian
population from violence by illegal armed groups. President Clinton had
productive conversations with President Pastrana during his recent
visit to Cartagena. Human rights were at the top of his agenda, and we
believe President Pastrana and the military high command understand the
need to take effective action against security force personnel
implicated in human rights violations.
I understand that recently two vetted units, the 24th Brigade based
in Puerto Asis and the 12th based in Florencia, have been suspended
from receiving training and assistance (according to the U.S.
Ambassador Anne Patterson). What are the circumstances under which
their aid was suspended? What happened between the time these units
were vetted and now to lead to their suspension? What must happen,
prior to resumption of U.S. assistance, to ensure that these units are
not involved in human rights violations, or in aiding and abetting
Assistance to the 24th Brigade was suspended in the fall of 1999,
when the Department became aware of allegations of human rights
violations committed by members of that unit in Putumayo. The most
serious of these allegations, and the one for which there is the most
documentation, involves an incident in February 1998 that resulted in
the death of three individuals. The facts of the case are still in
dispute, with widely varying stories given by the Colombian Army, NGOs
and reported eyewitnesses. There is an official Colombian investigation
underway. Although we have made no final determination as to whether
the evidence against the 24th Brigade is credible or not, we deemed the
allegations serious enough to warrant suspending assistance to the 24th
Brigade as a matter of policy, until such time as the official
investigation or other-sources develop more definitive information. We
are pressing the Government of Colombia to complete its investigation
as soon as possible.
The situation of the 12th Brigade is different. The Department is
aware of no credible evidence of gross violations of human rights by
this Brigade. Assistance was suspended in August 2000, however, when
the Department became aware that individuals who are currently under
investigation by Colombian authorities for possible human rights
violations had been transferred into the unit. Assistance will remain
suspended until either the individuals are removed from the Brigade or
the case is satisfactorily resolved.
THE SITUATION IN PERU
Secretary Albright, as we all know, this weekend Vladimiro
Montesinos, the ousted Peruvian Intelligence Chief, was admitted to
Panama pending the outcome of his asylum petition. I understand that
Mr. Montesinos' initial request to enter Panama was denied, but that
subsequently the Organization of American States and the United States
put substantial pressure on Panama to reconsider this decision and
admit Mr. Montesinos. Is the fear that Mr. Montesinos' allies in Peru
might move toward a military coup part of the reason that you are
supporting his decision to flee to Panama?
We supported Panama's decision to receive Mr. Montesinos after the
Government of Peru concluded that the only way to move forward on
democratic reform was to arrange for Mr. Montesinos' departure. Our
support was in line with that of OAS Secretary General Gaviria and
several countries of the hemisphere.
It was very evident from talking to our Latin American friends that
it was important to the hemisphere to have Mr. Montesinos removed from
Peru in order to relieve political tension, reduce the danger of
instability, and enable OAS-sponsored talks on democratic reform to
proceed. The Peruvian armed forces have stated their support for
constitutional order and we expect that commitment will be honored and
preserved. However, the political polarization in Peru remains very
high and the situation at the time of Mr. Montesinos' departure was
We commend Panama for its action, which enables Peru to move
forward on ensuring conditions for a peaceful, democratic transition of
power. It is important to note that, while we supported Panama's
decision to receive Mr. Montesinos, we have not asked Panama to give
him political asylum or immunity from prosecution. The issue of asylum
is one for Panama alone to determine. We furthermore do not believe Mr.
Montesinos' presence outside Peru excludes the possibility of judicial
proceedings being brought against him by a future Peruvian government.
What is the status of negotiations between President Fujimori and
Opposition political parties to reach agreement on early elections?
The Government of Peru, the political opposition, and
representatives from civil society are engaged in OAS-sponsored talks
on democratic reform. This now includes discussion on President
Fujimori's decision to call new elections. The parties have negotiated
a package of constitutional amendments to curtail the current
presidential and congressional terms and the Peruvian Congress has
approved the package in a first of two required votes. We expect the
Peruvian Congress will take up the second vote before the end of the
While no date has been set for the elections, we believe they will
take place in the spring of 2001, with the inauguration of a new
president on July 28, 2001. Despite calls to the contrary from some
sectors of the opposition, the parties to the OAS talks agreed to drop
demands that President Fujimori step down immediately and all.ow a
provisional government to oversee the transition.
The OAS dialogue will soon address important issues related to
reform of electoral institutions, freedom of expression, and full media
access for all political parties. These reforms will be critical to
ensuring a transparent process. We support the OAS-sponsored dialogue
and call on political parties and the Government of Peru to continue
their discussions on the full agenda of reforms. We are also
coordinating with the OAS and other organizations on providing
observers to monitor the campaign and election.
THE PATTEN COMMISSION AND THE IRISH PEACE PROCESS
President Clinton has been a full and ardent supporter of the Irish
Peace Process, and has done more for the cause of peace in Ireland than
any other American President. He was instrumental in negotiating the
Good Friday Accords, and remains actively involved in encouraging the
parties to fully implement the agreement.
Today, after much hard work, we are at a point where specific parts
of the accords can be implemented with success, and Ireland can be
allowed to heal. However, the police reform legislation currently
making its way through Britain's Parliament is itself the subject of
controversy. That is because it does not fully implement the Patten
Commission Recommendations in some key areas such as changing the name
of the RUC and its symbols in order to demonstrate that this will be a
new, professional service that seeks the participation of individuals
from both communities--Protestant and Catholic alike.
What steps has this administration taken to get this process back
on track? I would note parenthetically that both Governor Bush and Vice
President Gore have both publicly endorsed the full implementation of
Patten. (See attached statements.)
The Administration is committed to achieving the goal set out by
the Patten Report--a police service that enjoys the support of all
sides of the community in Northern Ireland. Getting the policing issue
``right'' is critical to the future of Northern Ireland, and we are
urging that it not become the subject of political brinksmanship. We
continue to work with the British and Irish Governments and with party
leaders to restore confidence in the Good Friday Accord throughout the
community and renew momentum toward its full implementation. President
Clinton met with the new First Minister and Deputy First Minister
during their historic first visit to Washington and reaffirmed that the
United States will support the new devolved government in Northern
Ireland. We are making clear to all sides that there is no alternative
to the Good Friday Accord, which has opened up unprecedented prospects
for peace and prosperity for the people of Northern Ireland. We call on
all parties to work together to overcome their differences so that
these historic gains are not put at risk. President Clinton has offered
to help in any way he can.
MEXICO AND THE CERTIFICATION PROCESS
With respect to Mexico, the recent election of Vincente Fox as the
first opposition party candidate to win election since Mexican
independence creates new opportunities for even closer cooperation
between the United State and Mexico.
One area where we need to get started on a better foot is in the
area of the U.S. certification process which has been a matter of some
friction between our two countries.
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison and I have introduced legislation to
suspend that process with respect to Mexico for the year in order to
allow both administrations time to work together in a cooperative
manner. My own view is that I would like to see this process repealed
totally and I hope that the two governments come up with a joint
proposal to make that possible.
With some years of experience with this process, what are your
views on the current certification process?
The certification process allows the U.S. government to spotlight
the importance we place on defeating the threat to our national
security posed by narcotraffickers and other related international
criminals. The full disclosure required by the current process compels
countries to make progress toward a minimum acceptable international
standard of cooperation in meeting the goals of an international
convention to which all but a small minority of countries are parties.
So far, certification has produced positive results and we support the
process. That being said, however, we also support the OAS Drug
Commission's Multilateral Evaluation Mechanism, which is designed to
encompass all Western Hemisphere countries, providing a consensual
forum for a frank exchange of views, evaluation, and remedial action in
addressing individual country and regional counternarcotics