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Public Papers - 1992

Joint Russian-American Declaration on Defense Conversion

1992-06-17

The United States of America and the Russian Federation recognize that defense conversion is a key challenge of the post Cold War era and essential for building a democratic peace. Both parties realize the hardships involved in defense conversion efforts. But the parties realize, too, that the successful conversion of resources no longer needed for defense is in the long-term economic and national security interests of their peoples. Therefore, the United States of America and the Russian Federation declare their intention to devote priority to cooperation in advancing defense conversion.

Recognizing the important role of the private sector and of practical participation by business communities in the complex task of defense conversion, the United States of America and the Russian Federation are establishing a U.S.-Russian Defense Conversion Committee to facilitate conversion through expanded trade and investment. The intergovernmental committee will be established within the framework of the U.S.-Russian Business Development Committee and will be designed to facilitate the exchange of information and the promotion of trade and investment, including through the development of contacts between interested groups, the expansion of information exchange on enterprises undergoing conversion, and, the improvement of conditions for commercial activities in both countries through the identification and removal of obstacles to expanded trade and investment. The Committee will inform the governments of both countries on a regular basis of the results of its activities, in order that they may take timely and effective measures to eliminate impediments to bilateral cooperation in the area of conversion.

With the aim of promoting successful cooperation in conversion, each of the parties intends to take a number of practical steps in the near future.

The Russian Federation intends to establish on its territory a favorable political, economic, legal, and regulatory climate for American trade and investment, including the adoption of macroeconomic reforms necessary to institute convertibility of the ruble; the pursuit of complementary microeconomic reforms to support the privatization and demonopolization of industry; the enactment of laws to guarantee contract and property rights; and, the dissemination of internationally-accepted standards of basic business and financial information on enterprises undergoing conversion.

The United States intends to facilitate U.S. business engagement in commercially-viable conversion projects in Russia, including joint ventures, through the placement of long-term defense conversion resident advisers to serve as catalysts for U.S. business engagement and to provide expertise to local leaders and enterprise directors; the establishment in Russia of business centers with translation, education, and training facilities for U.S. businesses operating in Russia; the creation of a business information service (``BISNIS'') in Washington to match businesses in Russia with potential investors in the United States; and, the involvement of the Trade and Development Program, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, and the Export-Import Bank to provide incentives to American private investment in commercially viable defense conversion projects.

The United States of America and the Russian Federation endorse the COCOM Cooperation Forum on Export Control as a means to heal Cold War divisions and advance conversion through helping to remove barriers to high technology trade, assisting in the establishment of COCOM-comparable export control regimes in Russia and the other new independent states, and establishing procedures to ensure the civil end-use of sensitive goods and technologies on matters of common concern. Both parties agree that this process is based on their mutual determination strictly to adhere to world standards of export controls in the area of the non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related technologies, missiles and missile technology, destabilizing conventional armaments, and dual-use of goods and technologies.

The parties strongly encourage the expansion of bilateral defense and military contacts and the work of the North Atlantic Cooperation Council in addressing the full range of military issues that are critically linked to the success of conversion including civilian control of the military in a democracy; defense planning, budgeting, and procurement in a market economy; base closings and conversions; and demobilization and retraining as well as social protection.

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