News

USIS Washington File

02 February 2000

Text: Secretary of State's Speech at Russian Diplomatic Academy

(Feb. 2: Chechnya, ABM Treaty changes, nonproliferation) (2,770)

Moscow -- Russia and the United States have common interests and the
basis for true cooperation on three key sets of issues --
nonproliferation, arms control and regional stability, U.S. Secretary
of State Madeleine Albright said February 2.

"That is why our disagreement over Chechnya is so troubling," she
continued. "No one questions Russia's responsibility and even
obligation to combat insurgency and terror within its borders. But the
world increasingly has questioned doing so at such a high cost in
innocent human lives and suffering, and such a high cost to Russia's
international standing."

Albright was speaking at the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow.

Warning that "military operations encourage the extremists," she
added, "The Russia that chooses to pursue the political solution is
the Russia that we hope to work with well into the 21st century."

Albright began her speech by discussing the forces of globalization
and the trend towards a multipolar world. From the U.S. perspective,
she said, this "is a positive and welcome development."

"A multipolar world of diversity and creativity among cultures,
nations, and economies is the world we believe we can build, one that
will enrich our lives, and thrives on habits of peace and creative
competition," she said.

"I am convinced that America and Russia have enough major interests in
common to surmount our disagreements and work together in dealing with
the biggest dangers and opportunities we face in the new century."

To illustrate those common interests, Albright listed examples in the
area of arms control -- preventing "loose nukes" and the spread of
nuclear and ballistic missile technology to the Middle East, the
Korean Peninsula and elsewhere; eliminating stockpiles of chemical
weapons in Russia and the United States; strengthening the
Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT); "walking India and Pakistan back from
the nuclear precipice"; and bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
(CTBT) into force.

The Secretary also sought to reassure her audience that the changes
the United States is contemplating in the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile
(ABM) Treaty are "modest."

"They simply would not permit us to undermine Russia's deterrent, and
we do not seek to do so. And because Russia and the United States are
vulnerable to the same threats -- even if we sometimes perceive them
differently -- we are prepared to cooperate with your government on
missile defense."

Albright stressed that "it is in our mutual interest to find a way to
preserve the essential deterrent structure of the ABM Treaty, while
responding to the new dangers we both face."

Following is the text of her speech as released by the State
Department:

(begin text)

Moscow, Russia
February 2, 2000

Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright
Speech at the Diplomatic Academy

(as prepared for delivery)

SECRETARY ALBRIGHT: Rector Fokin, faculty and students; distinguished
colleagues, guests and friends. It is a humbling experience to speak
at the preeminent diplomatic academy in a nation whose diplomatic
history dates back twice as far as the entire history of the United
States. I was surprised to learn that I am one of only a few women
ever to address this venerable institution. I trust that if I earn
passing marks from you this morning, I will not be the last.

It has been a decade now since the Cold War ended. That no longer
seems like only yesterday. To the contrary, enough time has passed for
the shape of the post-Cold War world to have become clearer: new
realities, new problems, new opportunities. A world ever less defined
by being "post"-anything; a new era in its own right.

I was particularly struck by this a few days ago in Davos, where I
participated in the meetings of the World Economic Forum. Here were
gathered many of the world's leading political, corporate and
intellectual figures -- a globalized international society on display.
(I heard lots of Russian, incidentally, being spoken in the
corridors.)

Foreign and economic policy discussions blended seamlessly together.
Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers and I actually shared the same
platform, talking about each other's issues. This kind of joint public
discussion by foreign and finance ministers would have been hard to
imagine in past eras.

And my colleague made a mind-bending prediction -- that two centuries
from now, historians will view the Cold War's end as only the second
most important event of the late 20th century. The first, in his view,
being the explosion of economic growth across borders and around the
world.

To many of the high-tech participants, it seemed that international
borders hardly mattered. Their cyberspace realm is inherently global,
and the Internet on which they do business is inherently democratic
and decentralized.

This is the kind of world that might even be called "multipolar" -- a
term with which you here in Russia are, I know, familiar. On this
multipolar stage, the actors are advancing not only national goals,
but also corporate, individual, and organizational agendas based on
economic and other interests.

Now I have heard it said -- sometimes in Russia -- that the strategy
of the United States is to establish and enforce a "unipolar" world.
But it is hard to pay attention to the trends and forces of
globalization without observing the many "poles" that affect the way
the world now works.

This is unprecedented. And from the American perspective, it is a
positive and welcome development.

Of course, if advocates of a multipolar world envision a 19th rather
than 21st century way of conducting our affairs, then we do have a
disagreement. The issue is whether the "poles" that give the world its
structure are in conflict or work in concert. The latter -- a
multipolar world of diversity and creativity among cultures, nations,
and economies -- is the world we believe we can build, one that will
enrich our lives, and thrives on habits of peace and creative
competition.

In this new world, governments may not be the sole or even the
dominant forces in international relations that we once took for
granted. And yet they continue to have special responsibilities.
Because many of the positive trends on which globalization is based --
maintaining the peace; strengthening democratic institutions;
preserving an open international economic order -- depend on how well
governments meet their responsibilities.

Likewise, some of today's most worrisome international trends are in
part a consequence of the difficulties governments face in finding the
right strategies for dealing with them. Our Attorney General, Janet
Reno, who visited here in October, has noted that in dealing with
international organized crime, we are still heavily reliant on
national tools.

Pessimists about this new world argue that many of the positive trends
I mentioned will in fact break down, because states face too many
conflicting interests and too many irreparable rivalries to be able to
cooperate even against problems that threaten them jointly.

I do not agree with that defeatist assessment. And I would like to
explain why I believe we must not -- and ultimately will not -- allow
it to define the relationship between Russia and the United States.

I am convinced that America and Russia have enough major interests in
common to surmount our disagreements and work together in dealing with
the biggest dangers and opportunities we face in the new century.

As we look ahead to the first years of this new century, I hope that
this is the practical approach we will bring to bear on three key sets
of issues: nonproliferation; arms control; and regional stability.

As to the first, the convergence of interests is clear. The Cold War's
end lessened one great danger, but spawned others. One is that
international arms dealers and shady middlemen would seek ways to sell
nuclear materials, technology or expertise to dangerous clients.

This has placed enormous pressure on all governments to enact and
enforce a strict, modern system of export controls. Russia's new
export control regime -- on paper -- is a solid start. But far more
needs to be done to address this serious problem -- a commitment at
all levels to better implementation, better enforcement, better
control of exports.

The logic of cooperation here is powerful. For in the parlance of our
mainstream media, both of our countries share an interest in
preventing any nukes from becoming "loose nukes."

We both have an interest in preventing the spread of nuclear and
ballistic-missile capabilities in the Middle East. The same is true on
the Korean Peninsula and elsewhere.

We both have an interest in eliminating the deadly stockpiles of
chemical weapons that remain on Russian and U.S. soil.

We both have an interest in an NPT Review Conference this April that
makes this bedrock treaty a stronger instrument than ever against the
spread of nuclear arms.

We both have an interest in walking India and Pakistan back from the
nuclear precipice, and in reinforcing the global norms that were
challenged by those countries' nuclear blasts.

We both have an interest in bringing the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty
into force, and in maintaining our respective moratoria on testing
until we do.

The list could go on; the logic is compelling. Russia and the United
States have a host of powerful reasons to work together to prevent the
spread of mass weapons and the missiles that can carry them. On many
issues, we have done so. If we can continue to do so, we will make a
major contribution to the security of both countries. But it will be a
troubling sign that we see the world in very different ways if we
don't.

Even the most assiduous nonproliferation efforts will not be perfect.
That reality obliges us also to consider how we respond to the
emergence of new weapons capabilities.

Here we must begin by acknowledging that the strategic environment has
changed greatly over the past quarter-century. And we know that the
technology required to launch longer-range missiles is spreading
despite our best efforts to stop it.

The U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenals provide overwhelming deterrence
against direct attack by any rational adversary. The problem is how to
deal with threats from sources that are neither rational nor
interested in complying with global norms.

That is why discussion of the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty and
America's plans for a National Missile Defense have figured
prominently in my meetings here.

An American decision on deploying a limited National Missile Defense
system -- let me stress the word "limited" -- could be made as early
as this summer. It has not yet been made. But for deployment to occur
under the ABM Treaty, certain changes would be necessary. We have been
discussing these changes with Congress, our allies and with you.

Not long ago, a Russian defense official declared that your nation has
the ability to overwhelm the missile defense system we are planning.
That is true -- and part of our point.

The changes we are contemplating in the ABM Treaty are modest. They
simply would not permit us to undermine Russia's deterrent, and we do
not seek to do so. And because Russia and the United States are
vulnerable to the same threats -- even if we sometimes perceive them
differently -- we are prepared to cooperate with your government on
missile defense.

In response, I hope Russia will do more than just say "Nyet." It is in
our mutual interest to find a way to preserve the essential deterrent
structure of the ABM Treaty, while responding to the new dangers we
both face.

One reason is the historic opportunity we have today to make further
reductions in strategic arsenals. Almost three years ago, Presidents
Clinton and Yeltsin agreed on the outlines of a START III Treaty that
would cut our arsenals by 80 percent from their Cold War peaks. This
was one of the subjects I discussed in this visit to Moscow.

I hope we succeed, for such a treaty would be in both our nations'
interests. It would make us safer by maintaining parity at lower
levels. Moreover, nuclear weapons are expensive to maintain and
safeguard. We should find ways openly to destroy and dispose of every
one we don't need.

This brings me to a third set of problems and interests common to both
our countries: potential instabilities in the Balkans, the Middle
East, the Caucasus and Central Asia. In each, the sources are similar:
ethnic hatred, fanaticism, economic hopelessness and too little
democracy. And the tensions they spawn create fertile breeding grounds
for many forms of organized thuggery -- from trafficking in drugs and
guns and women, to outright terrorism.

In avoiding such developments, U.S. and Russian interests clearly
coincide. We both have a clear stake in stability in Kosovo; in a
Middle East transformed by peace; and in a lasting settlement of the
dispute over Nagorno-Karabakh. In each of these areas, Russia and the
United States have worked together to seek sound solutions.

Once, a comprehensive peace in the Middle East seemed all but
unthinkable, in part because the United States and Russia were
adversaries. Almost thirty years ago, we came all too close to war in
this region. Yesterday, Foreign Minister Ivanov and I co-hosted the
Multilateral Steering Group Ministerial. Our cooperation was easy
because our interests coincide.

In Kosovo, we had very strong disagreements but our nations knew they
had an interest in ending conflict and ushering in an era of stability
in the Balkans. Today, our soldiers serve alongside one another to
give peace the best possible chance.

On the diplomatic front, our two governments have been working through
the OSCE Minsk Group to find a lasting solution to the very difficult
problem of Nagorno-Karabakh. With our help, the leaders have made
progress.

Such cooperation illustrates how the United States and Russia can also
work together with the countries of the Caucasus and Central Asia.
These sovereign states face the quadruple challenge of protecting
their independence, creating modern political institutions, building
prosperity, and maintaining stability. The fact that many of them
border on a region to the south that has been an exporter of extremism
and terror adds to the challenges they face.

Russia and the United States have much to gain, and nothing to lose,
from the success of the strategies that these states have chosen.
These countries believe they need access to international markets for
their exports, especially energy and natural resources; they want to
be part of international institutions like the WTO and OSCE; and they
seek normal, mutually beneficial relations with their neighbors.

In summary, in each of the vital policy areas that I have just
discussed, Russia and the United States have common interests. This
means that there is a basis for true cooperation in each, even if
differences seem at times to occupy center stage.

That is why our disagreement over Chechnya is so troubling. No one
questions Russia's responsibility and even obligation to combat
insurgency and terror within its borders. But the world increasingly
has questioned doing so at such a high cost in innocent human lives
and suffering, and such a high cost to Russia's international
standing.

These tactics will not set the stage for building a peaceful,
prosperous Chechnya within the Russian Federation. Only a political
resolution of the conflict will do that. As long as the fighting
continues, it will serve as a magnet for extremism that could one day
risk the stability of the entire region.

The Middle East peace process that we have so successfully advanced
here in Moscow carries a powerful lesson. A commitment to political
solutions empowers the peacemakers. Military operations encourage the
extremists.

The Russia that chooses to pursue the political solution is the Russia
that we hope to work with well into the 21st century. This is a secure
Russia with strong political institutions; a rock of stability in
Europe and Asia; an engine of prosperity in the global economy; a
vibrant and varied contributor to a multilateral world; and a source
of inspiration to all who admire Russia's remarkable culture and
history and believe in the power of human beings to change their
individual and collective destinies.

These may seem like dreams; but I am speaking to you of interests. For
it is this Russia which will benefit most in world markets and
international institutions.

And it is this Russia with which the United States can work most
effectively to meet the many challenges that confront both our
nations.

Thank you very much. 

(end text)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State)