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US/Russia - Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary (Moscow, Russia)

For Immediate Release June 4, 2000

FACT SHEET

Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative

President Clinton proposed the Expanded Threat Reduction Initiative (ETRI) in January 1999, which significantly increased funding for cooperation with Russia, Ukraine and other New Independent States (NIS) to prevent proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and the materials to make them. The August 1998 economic crisis in Russia and related regional economic turmoil jeopardized efforts to reduce weapons to desired levels, impoverished weapons scientists, increased temptations for illicit trafficking and created new obstacles to military downsizing.

Progress in Bilateral Assistance Over the past year, ETRI has provided a solid framework for expanding and coordinating bilateral and international threat reduction assistance efforts in Russia and the NIS. For Fiscal Year (FY) 2000, there is an estimated $888 million available for Departments of Defense, Energy and State high priority security programs in the NIS under ETRI in four priority areas:

1) Nuclear Security -- deactivating and dismantling former Soviet strategic weapons and ensuring the security of Russian nuclear materials; 2) Chemical and Biological Weapons -- redirecting former Soviet biological and chemical weapons activities to civilian purposes as well as chemical weapons destruction; 3) Science and Technology Nonproliferation -- engaging former Soviet weapons scientists in peaceful, collaborative research; and 4) Military Relocation and Other Security Cooperation - helping facilitate withdrawals of Russian military forces and equipment from Georgia and Moldova.

The Administration is seeking increases for ETRI and related activities in 2001 with a total request of $974 million.

Progress in Multilateral Assistance The United States is urging other nations to increase their NIS security assistance. At the Cologne Summit in June 1999, the G-8 committed to increase threat reduction assistance for Russia and other NIS.

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