The US-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration
From March 17-19, 2008, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates traveled to Russia to meet with their counterparts, Russia Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Anatoly Serduykov, to discuss opportunities for US-Russian cooperation. Following their visit, President Bush and President Putin met in Sochi, Russia on April 6, 2008, and released a US-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration which will guide US-Russian relations in the years to come.
The following text is extracted from the Fact Sheet on the US-Russia Strategic Framework Declaration, issued by The White House on April 6, 2008.
President Bush and President Putin issued on April 6, 2008, in Sochi [Russia], a Declaration setting forth a framework for strategic cooperation between the United States and Russia. The Declaration outlines key elements of ongoing and new strategic initiatives between the two countries, including steps to promote security in the face of new and emerging threats; prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction; combat global terrorism; and advance economic cooperation. The Strategic Framework Declaration also acknowledges differences between the two countries, while agreeing to discuss these differences in a forthright manner without allowing these differences to prevent cooperation in other important areas.
The Declaration also commits both governments to respect the rule of law, international law, human rights, tolerance of diversity, political freedom, and a free market approach to economic policy and practices.
Among the areas of cooperation identified in the Strategic Framework Declaration are:
- Missile Defense. The leaders expressed their interest in creating a system for responding to potential missile threats in which Russia and the United States and Europe will participate as equal partners.
Russia has made clear that it does not agree with the decision to establish sites in Poland and the Czech Republic and reiterated its proposed alternative. Yet, it appreciates the measures that the United States has proposed and declared that if agreed and implemented such measures will be important and useful in assuaging Russian concerns.
We agreed to intensify our dialogue after Sochi on issues concerning missile defense cooperation both bilaterally and multilaterally.
- Post-START. The leaders agreed to develop a legally-binding arrangement following expiration of the START Treaty in December 2009. The Declaration notes the substantial reductions already carried out under the START Treaty and the Moscow Treaty, which remains in effect and was an additional important step in reducing numbers of deployed nuclear warheads.
- INF Treaty. In connection with the INF Treaty that eliminated the two countries’ intermediate- and shorter-range missiles, the leaders agreed to engage in a high-level dialogue to analyze intermediate- and shorter-range missile threats and inventory options for dealing with them.
- Arms Sales. The United States and Russia will cooperate to prevent conventional arms sales that threaten international security and to deny conventional arms to terrorists.
- Defense Technology Cooperation. The United States and Russia agreed to finalize agreement on defense technology cooperation, including measures to counter IEDs [Improvised Explosive Devices].
Preventing the Spread of Weapons of Mass Destruction
- Preventing Nuclear Proliferation. The Declaration affirms the governments’ commitment to a broad range of activities to prevent nuclear proliferation, including the July 3, 2007 Declaration on joint actions to strengthen the nuclear nonproliferation regime and promote the expansion of nuclear energy without the spread of sensitive fuel cycle technologies; the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, which supports development of the next generation of civil nuclear capability that will be safe and secure; the Global Initiative to Combat Nuclear Terrorism, which brings together 67 participating countries in efforts to prevent terrorists from acquiring nuclear weapons; initiatives to create reliable access to nuclear fuel without proliferation risk; signature of and efforts to bring into force an Agreement on Cooperation in Peaceful Use of Nuclear Energy; and completion by the end of 2008 of the agreed-to nuclear security upgrades under the two Presidents’ Bratislava Nuclear Security Initiative.
- Iran. The United States and Russia remain committed to diplomatic efforts to achieve a negotiated solution guaranteeing that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively for peaceful purposes. They call on Iran to comply with the requirements of the IAEA Board of Governors and the UN Security Council, including its resolutions 1737, 1747, and 1803 that demand full and verifiable suspension of enrichment-related and reprocessing activities.
- North Korea. The two countries will continue to cooperate to implement UN Security Council resolution 1718 and the Six-Party agreements on North Korea’s nuclear weapons and nuclear programs to achieve the ultimate goal of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
- Proliferation Security Initiative. The two countries reaffirm their commitment to this initiative, which seeks to prevent and deter trafficking in WMD, their delivery means and related materials; and agree to work together to prevent and disrupt proliferation-related finance.
Combating Global Terrorism
The two leaders affirmed Russian-American partnership against terrorism. They agree to intensify their bilateral and multilateral efforts to fight against this common and global threat, both directly against terrorist groups and against their financial and criminal practices.
Strategic Economic Cooperation
- WTO. The United States and Russia are committed to achieving WTO accession for Russia as soon as possible and on commercially meaningful terms. With a major effort, especially between now and June, and with the cooperation of other parties, and by meeting the terms for WTO accession, Russia can qualify for membership and thus accession to the WTO can be achieved this year. In conjunction with the WTO negotiations, the administration will work with Congress to enact legislation on Permanent Normal Trade Relations with Russia this year.
- Economic Dialogues. The United States and Russia agreed to create new government-to-government and business-to-business dialogues to enhance trade and investment relations, improve contacts between our business communities, and increase prosperity. It was agreed that our economic dialogues will aim to identify impediments to trade and investment, improve transparency of the business and investment environment, and strengthen the rule of law.
- Bilateral Investment Treaty. The United States and Russia agreed to advance efforts on a new Bilateral Investment Treaty that will promote a stable and predictable framework for investment, to the benefit of the business communities in both countries.
- Energy Dialogue. The United States and Russia will work together to enhance energy security and diversify energy supplies through economically-viable routes, consistent with the G-8 St. Petersburg principles, which include creation of open, transparent, efficient and competitive energy markets. They also will launch a new energy dialogue to develop lower-carbon emission energy sources, and collaborate on energy efficiency initiatives.
Combating Climate Change
The United States and Russia will work together with all major emitting economies to advance key elements of the negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in order to achieve a comprehensive post-2012 framework that includes greenhouse gas limitation or reduction commitments by all major economies consistent with their national circumstances and to address emissions in key sectors.
April 6, 2008