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INTRODUCTION

In March 2000, as Russia prepared for the presidential election that would formally establish the successor to the Yeltsin administration, the Speaker of the House tasked the leadership of six committees of the House of Representatives to assess the results of U.S. policy toward Russia during the Yeltsin years. This report is the result of that effort.

The Speaker's Advisory Group on Russia comprises the Chairmen of the Committees on Armed Services, Appropriations, Banking, Intelligence, and International Relations, as well as the House Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, and additional members of the House leadership and the committees of jurisdiction. The Advisory Group and its professional staff met several times each week over the past five months with key Clinton administration policy makers, leaders of Russia's executive and legislative branches, and leading academic and private sector experts on Russia and U.S.-Russian relations from both countries. The Advisory Group reviewed the voluminous committee work and official reports produced by each of the relevant committees of Congress, as well as a wide range of primary and secondary sources. In addition, the Chairman, and members of the Advisory Group, and its professional staff have traveled to Russia on several occasions since March 2000.

The persons with whom the Advisory Group and its staff met in the course of preparation of this report include Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers; Ambassador Thomas Pickering, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs; U.S. Ambassador to Russia James Collins; Ambassador Stephen R. Sestanovich, Special Advisor for the Newly Independent States; Thomas Dine, Director of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov; Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov; former Secretary of the Security Council Andrei Kokoshin; First Deputy Minister of Defense Nikolay Mikhailov; State Duma Member Igor A. Annensky, Deputy Chairman of the Banking Committee; State Duma Member Alexei Arbatov, Deputy Chairman of the Defense Committee; State Duma Member Boris Gryzlov, leader of the Unity party in the Duma; State Duma Member Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee; State Duma Member Viktor S. Pleskachevsky, Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Funds Market; State Duma Member Vladislav Reznik, Deputy Chairman of the Committee on Budget and Taxes; State Duma Member Dimitri O. Rogozin, Chairman of the International Affairs Committee; State Duma Member Vladimir Ryzhkov; State Duma Member Alexander Shabanov, Deputy Chairman of the International Affairs Committee; State Duma Member Alexander N. Shokhin, Chairman of the Credit Organizations and Financial Markets Committee; State Duma Member Grigory Yavlinsky, leader of the Yabloko party; Andrei Babitsky, journalist, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Scott Blacklin, President, American Chamber of Commerce, Moscow; Dr. James Billington, Librarian of Congress; Paula Dobriansky, Vice President, Council on Foreign Relations; Pavel Felgengauer, military analyst and author; former Russian Finance Minister Boris Fyodorov; Dr. Thomas Graham, Senior Associate, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Sergei Karaganov, Chairman, Council on Foreign and Defense Policy; Igor Malashenko, Media MOST; Arkady Murashev, Chairman of the Center for Liberal-Conservative Policy and former Duma Member; Ruslan Pukhov, Director, Center for Analysis of Strategy and Technology; Peter W. Rodman, Director of National Security Programs at The Nixon Center; Ivan Safranchuk, Project Director, Center for Policy Studies in Russia; Dimitri Simes, President of The Nixon Center; and Dimitri Trenin, Deputy Director, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace (Moscow Center).

This report begins with a summary of the historic events that led to the collapse of the Soviet Union in December 1991 and a description of the conditions in Russia during the last year of the Bush administration and at the commencement of the Clinton administration. It assesses the task ahead for Russia in moving from a century of state control to a free enterprise democracy, and compares that agenda with the actual policies pursued by the Clinton administration from 1993 to the present. The manifold failures of both Russian and U.S. government policy are surveyed: the early corruption of the non-market "privatization" to insiders; the spread of organized crime; the eventual complete collapse of the Russian economy in 1998; the rise of weapons proliferation as a means of generating hard currency; and the increasing estrangement of Russia from the United States, essentially reversing the trends that existed in 1992.

Finally, the report addresses itself to the opportunities for U.S.-Russian relations that still remain, despite years of failure. Recommendations of the Advisory Group for future policy appear at the conclusion of the report.

September 2000



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