< Back to S.Res. 612 (110th Congress, 2007–2009)

Text of A resolution expressing the sense of the Senate that President George W. Bush, President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation, ...

...the Russian Federation, and other participants in the 2008 Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan should work to

This simple resolution was agreed to on July 14, 2008. That is the end of the legislative process for a simple resolution. The text of the bill below is as of Jul 14, 2008 (Resolution Agreed to).

Source: GPO

III

110th CONGRESS

2d Session

S. RES. 612

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

July 14, 2008

(for himself, Mr. Kerry, and Mr. Casey) submitted the following resolution; which was considered and agreed to

RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the Senate that President George W. Bush, President Dmitry Medvedev of the Russian Federation, and other participants in the 2008 Group of Eight (G8) Summit in Toyako, Hokkaido, Japan should work together to foster a more constructive relationship, and that the Government of the Russian Federation should eschew behaviors that are inconsistent with the Group’s objectives of protecting global security, economic stability, and democracy.

Whereas the leaders of 6 major industrialized democracies, including France, West Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States, gathered in 1975 for a summit meeting in Rambouillet, France, and for annual meetings thereafter under a rotating presidency known as the Group of Six (G6);

Whereas the G6 was established based on the mutual interest of its members in promoting economic stability, global security, and democracy;

Whereas, in 1976, membership of the G6 was expanded to include Canada;

Whereas the members of the G7 share a commitment to promote security, economic stability, and democracy in their respective nations and around the world;

Whereas Russia was integrated into the G7 in 1998 at the behest of President William Jefferson Clinton following Russian President Boris Yeltsin’s decision to pursue reforms and assume a neutral position on the acceptance of additional members into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO);

Whereas the members of the G8 face common challenges, including climate change, violent extremism, global economic volatility, pandemic disease, nuclear proliferation, and trafficking in narcotics, persons, and weapons of mass destruction;

Whereas President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, and other leaders of the Russian Federation have regularly expressed a desire for the Russian Federation to play a leading role in international affairs;

Whereas the Russian Federation and other members of the international community all stand to benefit if the Russian Federation is an active, constructive partner in addressing the broad range of challenges confronting the global community;

Whereas the Russian Federation has evidenced the capacity and willingness to cooperate with the United States and other nations in the interest of global security in certain areas pertaining to arms control and weapons proliferation, notably through its participation in the Six-Party Talks regarding North Korea and its support of the incentives package offered by leading countries to Iran if that country would suspend its uranium enrichment program;

Whereas the United States and Russia have safely deactivated and destroyed thousands of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and provided upgraded storage and transportation of nuclear materials through the Nunn-Lugar program;

Whereas the United States and other countries participating in the June 2002 G8 Summit in Kananaskis, Canada agreed to raise up to $20,000,000,000 over 10 years to support nonproliferation projects in Russia and other nations through the Global Partnership Against the Spread of Weapons and Materials of Mass Destruction;

Whereas participants in the July 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia launched the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism to improve the physical protection of nuclear materials, suppress illicit trafficking of such materials, and bolster the capacity of willing partner nations to respond to acts of nuclear terrorism;

Whereas the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation pledged in the April 2008 Sochi Strategic Framework Declaration to negotiate a legally binding post-START arrangement for the purposes of extending provisions of the 1991 Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty;

Whereas, notwithstanding these successes, the potential for collaboration between the United States and the Government of Russian Federation has been seriously undermined by the manner in which the leaders of the Russian Federation have conducted aspects of Russia’s foreign policy;

Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has unilaterally suspended implementation of the 1991 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE Treaty) and has yet to fulfill its commitment to withdraw Russian forces from Georgia and Moldova pursuant to the 1999 Istanbul Summit Declaration of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe;

Whereas the CFE Treaty has played a key role in enhancing the stability of the Euro-Atlantic region;

Whereas the Adapted CFE Treaty, which will not enter into force until the Russian Federation fulfills commitments made at the Istanbul Summit, will provide greater flexibility for the Russian Federation in return for improved transparency and verification;

Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has attempted to undermine the territorial integrity of the Republic of Georgia through its support of the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia;

Whereas the United Nations Observer Mission in Georgia has concluded that a military aircraft belonging to the Russian Federation shot down an unarmed Georgian drone on April 20, 2008, while flying over Abkhazia;

Whereas the conduct of Russian trade and energy policy has created a widespread perception that the Government of the Russian Federation is using oil and gas exports and economic policy as a means of political pressure on countries that seek closer ties with the United States and Euro-Atlantic partners;

Whereas the behavior of the Russian Federation as it relates to several neighboring countries has contributed to the erosion of regional peace and security;

Whereas such actions are inconsistent with the G8’s objectives of protecting global security, economic stability, and democracy, hinder cooperation with the Government of the Russian Federation, and undermine the standing of the Russian Federation as a respected member of the international community;

Whereas there has been considerable disagreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation regarding proposals to place ballistic missile defense interceptor and radar sites in Poland and the Czech Republic, respectively;

Whereas certain developments inside the Russian Federation and the Russian Government’s conduct of domestic policy have undermined confidence in the Russian Federation’s ability and capability to serve as a full partner in the work of the international community;

Whereas the Department of State’s Country Report on Human Rights Practices for 2007 stated that, in Russia, continuing centralization of power in the executive branch, a compliant State Duma, corruption and selectivity in enforcement of the law, media restrictions, and harassment of some NGOs eroded the government’s accountability to its citizens.;

Whereas, in June 2008, a report released by Human Rights Watch concluded that Russian law enforcement and security forces involved in counterinsurgency [in the North Caucasus] have committed dozens of extrajudicial executions, summary and arbitrary detentions, and acts of torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment;

Whereas the Government of the Russian Federation has failed to successfully prosecute individuals responsible for the murder of critics of the Kremlin, including journalist Anna Politkovskaya and Alexander Litvinenko;

Whereas the 2008 Annual Report of Reporters without Borders noted a sharp increase in government pressure on the independent media in Russia, reporting that at least 2 journalists were forcibly sent to psychiatric hospitals in 2007 and others were badly beaten or kidnapped prior to the local and parliamentary elections in 2007;

Whereas Transparency International ranked Russia 143 out of 179 countries for perceived corruption in 2007;

Whereas there is increasing concern about violent nationalism and xenophobia in the Russian Federation and the 2008 Annual Report of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom reports that there has been a sharp rise in violent crimes against persons [in Russia] on account of their religion or ethnicity;

Whereas, in the handling of the Yukos Oil Company case and numerous other judicial actions, the Government of the Russian Federation has permitted the politicization of Russia’s legal system;

Whereas these developments have seriously damaged international confidence in the institutions and laws of the Russian Federation and hindered the ability of the United States and other partners to work with the Russian Federation in addressing a broad range of pressing global, regional, and domestic challenges;

Whereas the people of the Russian Federation and the people of the United States have been disadvantaged by the resulting damage to relations between the countries;

Whereas President Dmitry Medvedev, in an interview with the Reuters News Service on June 25, 2008, stated that freedom, democracy and the right to private property should define Russia’s behavior;

Whereas the United States believes that adherence on the part of the Government of the Russian Federation to the values articulated by President Medvedev would provide a foundation for improved cooperation with the Russian Federation;

Whereas adherence to the values articulated by President Medvedev would also help repair damage to the international reputation of the Russian Federation and advance the goals of security, prosperity, and representative governance that should be the common ambition of all members of the G8;

Now, therefore, be it

That it is the sense of the Senate that—

(1)

in order to build a more constructive relationship with the Government of the Russian Federation and its people, the President of the United States and other leaders of the G8 nations should—

(A)

pursue a broad agenda of cooperation with the leaders of the Russian Federation; and

(B)

encourage Russia’s transformation into a more liberal and democratic polity;

(2)

the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation should work to ensure the continued success of Nunn-Lugar initiatives and nonproliferation and counterterrorism programs through—

(A)

additional funding;

(B)

access to sensitive facilities;

(C)

effective safety and security measures to prevent proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and weapons-related materials and technology; and

(D)

cooperation between the United States and Russia to enhance these objectives on a worldwide basis;

(3)

the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation, working within the International Atomic Energy Agency and United Nations Security Council, should renew demands for Iran to cease its nuclear enrichment activities and fully disclose any prior weapons-related work;

(4)

the Government of the United States and the Government of the Russian Federation should negotiate a legally-binding successor agreement to the 1991 Strategic Arms Reductions Treaty and address all outstanding concerns regarding the 1991 Treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe;

(5)

the leaders of the Russian Federation should adopt foreign and domestic policies that are consistent with freedom, democracy and the right to private property, as articulated by President Dmitry Medvedev;

(6)

the Government of the Russian Federation should take immediate steps to restore the freedom and independence of the country’s media in accordance with its obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights;

(7)

the Government and officials of the Russian Federation should refrain from portraying the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) as a threat to the Russian Federation and fully utilize the consultative mechanisms that exist through the NATO-Russia Council to facilitate cooperation between the countries of NATO and the Russian Federation;

(8)

the United States, in coordination with other members of the G8, should—

(A)

encourage the Government of the Russian Federation to address the challenges facing its society, including widespread corruption, a deteriorating health care system, growing instability in the North Caucasus, and an increasingly serious demographic crisis; and

(B)

stand ready to assist the people and Government of the Russian Federation in those efforts;

(9)

just as the United States welcomed the increasing prosperity and political development of Germany, Japan, and the nations Eastern Europe in the aftermath of former conflicts, the United States should welcome the emergence of the Russian Federation as a strong, successful, democratic partner in addressing global challenges; and

(10)

the leaders of the Russian Federation should respect the rights of sovereign, democratic governments in neighboring countries and their prerogative to seek membership in Euro-Atlantic institutions.