U.S. Department of State
Background Notes: Ukraine, June 1997
Official Name: Ukraine
Area: 233,000 sq. mi..
Cities: Capital-- Kiev (pop. 2.6 million). Other cities--Kharkiv,
Donetsk, Dnipropetrovsk, Odesa, Lviv.
Terrain: A vast plan bounded by the Carpathian mountains in the
southwest and by the Black Sea and the Sea of Oziv in the South.
Climate: Continental temperate.
Population (est.): 52 million.
Nationality: Noun--Ukrainian(s); adjective--Ukrainian.
Ethnic groups: Ukrainians, Russians, Jews, Belarusians, Moldovans,
Bulgarians, Poles, Hungarians, Romanians, Crimean Tatars.
Religions: Ukrainian Orthodoxy, Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Judaism,
Roman Catholicism, Islam
Languages: Ukrainian, Russian, others.
Health: Infant mortality rate--21/1,000. Life expectancy--65 yrs. males,
75 yrs. females.
Work force: 24 million. Industry and construction--33%. Agriculture and
forestry--21%. Health, education, and culture--16%. Transport and
Independence: August 24, 1991.
Constitution: First post-Soviet constitution adopted June 28, 1996.
Branches: Executive--president, prime minister, cabinet. Legislative--
450-member parliament, the Supreme Rada (members elected to four-year
terms). Judicial--people's courts, regional courts, Supreme Court, and
Political parties: wide range of active political parties, from leftist
(communist and socialist) to center and center-right (Liberal,
Democratic, Rukh, and Republican) to ultra-nationalist (UNA and OUN).
Suffrage: Universal at 18.
Administrative subdivisions: 24 provinces and 1 autonomous republic.
GDP (est): $204 billion.
Annual growth rate: -14.2%.
Per capita income: $3,900.
Natural resources: Vast fertile lands, coal, natural gas, various large
mineral deposits, timber. Agriculture: Products--Grain, sugar. Industry:
Types--Ferrous metals and products, coke, fertilizer, metallurgical
equipment, diesel locomotives, tractors.
Trade: Exports--$12.7 billion: coal, electric power, ferrous and non-
ferrous metals, chemicals, machinery, and transport equipment. Imports--
$15.3 billion: Machinery and parts, transportation equipment, chemicals,
The population of Ukraine is about 52 million, which represents about
18% of the population of the former Soviet Union. Ukrainians make up
about 73% of the total; ethnic Russians number about 20%. The industrial
regions in the east and southeast are the most heavily populated, and
the urban population makes up about 70% of the population. Ukrainian and
Russian are the principal languages, but about 88% of the population
consider Ukrainian their native language. The dominant religions are the
Ukrainian Orthodox Church, much of which retains its links to the
Russian Orthodox Church, and the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The
Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Kiev Patriarchate) is independent of Moscow.
The birth rate of Ukraine is diminishing. About 70% of adult Ukrainians
have a secondary or higher education. Ukraine has about 150 colleges and
universities, of which the most important are at Kiev, Lviv, and
Kharkiv. About 70,000 scholars in 80 research institutes make Ukraine a
leader in science and technology.
The first identifiable groups to populate what is now Ukraine were
Cimmerians, Scythians, Sarmatians, and Goths, among other nomadic
peoples who arrived throughout the first millennium B.C. These people
were well known to colonists and traders in the ancient world, including
Greeks and Romans, who established trading outposts which eventually
became city states. Slavic tribes occupied central and eastern Ukraine
in the sixth century A.D. and played an important role in the
establishment of Kiev. Situated on lucrative trade routes, Kiev quickly
prospered as the center of a powerful state of Kievan Rus. In the 11th
century, Kievan Rus was, geographically, the largest state in Europe.
A Christian missionary, Cyril, converted the Kievan nobility and most of
the population in 988. Conflict among the feudal lords led to decline in
the 12th century. Kiev was razed by Mongol raiders in the 12th century.
Most of the territory was annexed by Poland and Lithuania in the 14th
century, but during that time, the Ukrainian people began to conceive of
themselves as a distinct people, a feeling which survived subsequent
partitioning by greater powers over the next centuries. In addition,
Ukrainian peasants who fled the Polish effort to force them into
servitude came to be known as Cossacks and earned a reputation for their
fierce martial spirit.
In 1667, Ukraine was partitioned between Poland and Russia. In 1793, it
was reunited as part of the Russian Empire.
The 19th century found the region largely agricultural, with a few
cities and centers of trade and learning. The region was under the
control of the Austrians in the extreme west and of the Russians
elsewhere. Ukrainian writers and intellectuals were inspired by the
nationalistic spirit stirring other European peoples existing under
other imperial governments and were determined to revive Ukrainian
linguistic and cultural traditions and re-establish a Ukrainian nation-
state. The Russians in particular imposed strict limits on attempts to
elevate Ukrainian language and culture, even banning its use and study.
When World War I and the Bolshevik revolution in Russia shattered the
Hapsburg and Russian empires, Ukrainians declared independent statehood.
In 1917 and 1918, three separate Ukrainian republics declared
independence. However, by 1921, the western part of the traditional
territory had been incorporated into Poland, and the larger, central and
eastern part became part of the Soviet Union.
The Ukrainian national idea persevered during the inter-war years, and
Soviet reaction was severe, particularly under Stalin, who imposed
terror campaigns, which ravaged the intellectual class. He also created
artificial famines as part of his forced collectivization policies,
which killed millions of previously independent peasants and others
throughout the country. Estimates of deaths from the 1932-33 famine
alone range from 3 million to 7 million.
After the German and Soviet invasions of Poland in 1939, the western
Ukrainian regions were incorporated into the Soviet Union. When the
Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, many Ukrainians, particularly
in the west, welcomed them, but this did not last. German brutality was
directed principally against Ukraine's Jews (of whom 1 million were
killed) but also against many other Ukrainians. Kiev and other parts of
the country were heavily damaged. Some Ukrainians began to resist the
Germans as well as the Soviets. Resistance against Soviet Government
forces continued as late as the 1950s.
Little changed for Ukraine over the next decades. During periods of
relative liberalization--as under Nikita Khrushchev from 1955 to 1964--
Ukrainian communists pursued national objectives. In the years of
perestroika, under U.S.S.R. President Mikhail Gorbachev, national goals
were again advanced by Ukrainian officials.
Ukraine became an independent state on August 24, 1991, following the
dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was a founding member of the
Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS).
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL CONDITIONS
Ukraine is a parliamentary democracy with separate executive, judicial,
and legislative branches. The president nominates the prime minister,
who must be confirmed by the parliament. The 450-member parliament
(Supreme Rada) initiates legislation, ratifies international agreements,
and approves the budget. Its members were elected to four-year terms in
1994. Following free elections held on December 1, 1991, Leonid M.
Kravchuk, former Chairman of the Ukrainian Supreme Soviet, was elected
president for a five-year term. At the same time, a referendum on
independence was approved by more than 90% of the voters.
Political groupings in Ukraine include former communists, socialists,
agrarians, nationalists and various centrist and independent forces.
Shortly after becoming independent, Ukraine named a parliamentary
commission to prepare a new constitution, adopted a multi-party system,
and adopted legislative guarantees of civil and political rights for
national minorities. A new, democratic constitution was adopted on June
28, 1996, which mandates a pluralistic political system with protection
of basic human rights and liberties.
Freedom of religion is guaranteed by law, although religious
organizations are required to register with local authorities and with
the central government. Minority rights are respected in accordance with
a 1991 law guaranteeing ethnic minorities the right to schools and
cultural facilities and the use of national languages in conducting
personal business. In Crimea and eastern Ukraine--areas with significant
Russian minorities--Russian is permitted as a language of official
correspondence. It is also recognized as an official language in Crimea.
Ethnic tensions in Crimea during 1992 prompted a number of pro-Russian
political organizations to advocate secession of Crimea and annexation
to Russia. (Crimea was ceded to Ukraine in 1954, as a gift from
Khrushchev to mark the 300th anniversary of Ukrainian union with
Russia.) In July 1992, the Crimean and Ukrainian parliaments determined
that Crimea would remain under Ukrainian jurisdiction while retaining
significant cultural and economic autonomy.
Crimea held its first presidential elections in January 1994, electing
Yuriy Meshkov, a Republican Party of Crimea member advocating closer
ties to Russia. The results of a non-binding poll on March 27, 1994,
demonstrated voters' overwhelming support for greater powers for
Meshkov, dual Russian-Ukrainian citizenship for Crimeans, and a treaty
to govern relations between Crimea and Ukraine on a more equal basis.
However, on March 17, 1995, the Rada abolished the 1992 Crimean
constitution and dissolved the local presidency.
Official trade unions have been grouped under the Federation of Trade
Unions. A number of independent unions, which emerged during 1992, have
formed the Consultative Council of Free Trade Unions. While the right to
strike is legally guaranteed, strikes based solely on political demands
are prohibited. A National Mediation and Reconciliation Service exists
to regulate disputes between management and labor which cannot be
resolved at the enterprise level. A new law on trade unions is under
In July 1994, Leonid Kuchma was elected as Ukraine's second president in
free and fair elections. Earlier, in March 1994, Ukraine elected its
first post-independence parliament. The next elections are scheduled for
March 1998 (parliamentary) and October 1999 (presidential).
Security forces are controlled by the president, although they are
subject to investigation by a permanent parliamentary commission.
Surveillance is permitted for reasons of national security.
Ukraine has established its own military forces of about 500,000 from
the troops and equipment inherited from the former Soviet Union. It aims
to reduce the force to between 250,000-300,000 by the end of the decade;
considerable downsizing already has taken place.
Principal Government Officials
Acting Prime Minister--Vasyl Durdynets
Foreign Minister--Hennadiy Udovenko
Ukraine maintains an embassy at 3350 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007
Ukraine has many of the components of a major European economy--rich
farmlands, a well-developed industrial base, highly trained labor, and a
good education system. Significant difficulties lie ahead, however. At
present, the economy is in poor condition. While hyperinflation has been
tamed, production continues to drop, and the standard of living for most
citizens has declined more than 50% since the early 1990s. The new
Ukrainian currency, the Hryvnia, was introduced in September 1996, and
remained fairly stable.
Most Ukrainian trade is still with countries of the former Soviet Union,
principally Russia. Demand for Ukraine's non-agricultural exports--
ferrous metals, steel pipe, machinery, and transport equipment--
continues to fall. Forced to pay high prices for fuel, Ukraine continues
to run large trade deficits.
Ukraine imports 90% of its oil and most of its natural gas from Russia,
though it is trying to find alternative sources. The Ukrainian
authorities have been introducing market-price payment requirements for
energy supplies to industry and homes in an effort to establish a real
cost system of energy supply and payment.
In early 1995, the government began to implement an ambitious
privatization program which should transfer ownership of 8,000 medium
and large-scale enterprises to private hands. The International Monetary
Fund (IMF) approved a $1.5-billion stand-by arrangement with the
Government of Ukraine which should serve as the basis for continuing
comprehensive economic reform.
Ukraine encourages foreign trade and investment. The parliament has
approved a foreign investment law allowing Westerners to purchase
businesses and property, to repatriate revenue and profits, and to
receive compensation in the event that property is nationalized by a
Ukraine is rich in natural resources. It has a major ferrous metal
industry, producing cast iron, steel, and steel pipe, and its chemical
industry produces coke, mineral fertilizers, and sulfuric acid.
Manufactured goods include metallurgical equipment, diesel locomotives,
It also is a major producer of grain and sugar and possesses a broad
industrial base, including much of the former U.S.S.R.'s space industry.
Although oil reserves are largely exhausted, it has important energy
sources, such as coal and natural gas, and large mineral deposits.
In 1992, Ukraine became a member of the International Monetary Fund and
the World Bank. It is a member of the European Bank for Reconstruction
and Development but not a member of the General Agreement on Tariffs and
Trade/World Trade Organization.
Ukraine is interested in cooperating on regional environmental issues.
Conservation of natural resources is a high priority. It established its
first nature preserve, Askanyia-Nova, in 1921 and has a program to breed
However, the country has significant environmental problems resulting
from the Chornobyl nuclear power plant disaster in 1986 and from
industrial pollution. Ukraine has announced that the Chornobyl Atomic
Energy Station will be phased out and shut down by the year 2000; it has
asked for financial help to achieve this goal and to provide alternative
sources of energy for its population.
Ukraine also has established a Ministry of Environment and has
introduced a pollution fee system that levies taxes on air and water
emissions and solid waste disposal. The resulting revenues are channeled
to environmental protection activities, but enforcement of this
pollution fee system is lax.
Through contacts with the countries of the West, Ukraine seeks to
increase consultation and cooperation in areas such as defense planning;
the conversion of defense production to civilian purposes; and
scientific, economic, and environmental issues.
Despite a November 1990 agreement to respect one anothers' sovereignty
and territorial integrity, Ukraine's relations with Russia have been
strained due to its concern over Russia's intentions. Although Ukraine
became a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) on
December 8, 1991, it refused in January 1993 to endorse a draft charter
strengthening political, economic, and defense ties among CIS members.
Relations with Russia have improved somewhat with the late May signing
of the bilateral Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. Also, the two
sides have signed a series of agreements on the final division and
disposition of the former Soviet Black Sea Fleet.
On January 31, 1992, Ukraine joined the then-Conference on Security and
Cooperation in Europe (now the Organization for Security and Cooperation
in Europe--OSCE), and on March 10, 1992, it became a member of the North
Atlantic Cooperation Council. Ukraine also is an active member of
Partnership for Peace. A document on distinct relations between NATO and
Ukraine is to be signed this July in Madrid.
Soviet Ukraine joined the United Nations in 1945 as one of the original
members following a Western compromise with the former Soviet Union,
which had asked for seats for all 15 of its union republics. Ukraine
consistently has supported peaceful, negotiated settlements to disputes.
It has participated in the quadripartite talks on the conflict in
Moldova and has sent a battalion to serve with UN peace-keeping forces
in the former Yugoslavia.
The dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991 brought an end to
the Cold War and created the opportunity to build bilateral relations
with the New Independent States (NIS) as they began a political and
economic transformation. On December 25, 1991, the United States
officially recognized the independence of Ukraine. It upgraded its
consulate in the capital, Kiev, to embassy status on January 21, 1992.
The U.S. ambassador to Ukraine is William Green Miller, sworn in on
October 13, 1993.
The United States attaches great importance to the success of Ukraine's
transition to a democratic state with a flourishing market economy.
Following a period of economic decline characterized by high inflation
and a continued reliance on state controls, the Ukrainian Government
under the leadership of then newly elected President Leonid Kuchma began
taking steps in the fall of 1994 to reinvigorate economic reform and
achieve macro- economic stabilization. The Ukrainian Government's new
determination to implement comprehensive economic reform is a welcome
development, and the U.S. is committed to strengthening its support for
Ukraine as it embarks on this difficult path.
In January 1992, the U.S. initiated the Coordinating Conference on
Assistance to the New Independent States in response to the humanitarian
emergencies facing these states. The resulting Operation Provide Hope
supplied desperately needed food, fuel, medicine, and shelter.
A cornerstone for the continuing U.S. partnership with Ukraine and the
other NIS has been the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian
Democracies and Open Markets (FREEDOM) Support Act, enacted in October
1992. In September 1993, a new $2.45-billion assistance package for the
NIS, funded with a combination of fiscal year (FY) 1993 and 1994
supplemental appropriations, was passed by Congress and signed into law
by President Clinton. The legislation continues to address political and
economic transformation and humanitarian needs.
The U.S. has consistently encouraged Ukraine's transition to a free,
democratic society with a prosperous market economy. The U.S. and
Ukraine have signed a series of bilateral agreements designed to enhance
economic, technical, environmental, and cultural cooperation. During the
visit of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kravchuk to Washington on
March 3-5, 1994, he and President Clinton reached agreement on an
expanded economic assistance package that will provide up to $700
million to Ukraine: $350 million in technical and humanitarian
assistance in FY 1994 funds; and $350 million in Nunn-Lugar funds (FY
1992-95 funds) to assist with nuclear dismantlement, non-proliferation
programs, and industrial partnerships. Since 1994, Ukraine has become
one of the largest recipients in the world of U.S. assistance.
Assistance To Support the Transition to a Market Economy. U.S. technical
assistance to support the transition to a market economy has focused
primarily on economic restructuring, development of the private sector,
and energy sector reform. The U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID) printed millions of certificates to support Ukraine's plan for
the mass privatization of state enterprises. U.S. advisers have provided
technical assistance in financial sector reform, tax policy and
administration, bankers' training, land legislation, small-scale and
municipal services privatization, agricultural development and
agribusiness, corporatization of the electric power sector, energy
pricing and efficiency, and public education concerning the environment.
The Western NIS Enterprise Fund, announced by President Clinton in
January 1994 to promote private sector business development in Ukraine,
Moldova, and Belarus, has begun operations in Kiev.
The U.S. also has played a leading role in mobilizing international
support to help Ukraine cover its external financing gaps as it
implements rigorous reform under IMF programs. The U.S. contribution of
$100 million in late 1994 and pledge of $250 million in March 1995
helped leverage nearly $5 billion in IMF and other bilateral financing
and debt relief.
U.S. exchanges and training programs have enabled Ukrainians to
participate in a broad range of programs in the U.S. These include coal
mine safety, nuclear reactor safety, private land ownership and real
estate markets, local government finance, banking, tax accounting, labor
statistics, telecommunications, labor-management relations, promotion of
agricultural development, security and defense conversion, international
trade and investment, entrepreneurship and small business development,
and public health and hospital management and finance. Three medical
partnerships have been established between U.S. and Ukrainian medical
institutions. Peace Corps volunteers are working in Ukraine with a focus
on small business development and English teaching.
Funding also has been provided for studies in air traffic control and
airport construction, establishment of an agricultural center to provide
training on U.S. agricultural equipment, and the conversion of a coal-
fired power plant to gas. The U.S. has also provided grain storage
Assistance To Support the Transition to Democracy. The U.S. is promoting
Ukraine's democratic transition by supporting programs on participatory
political systems, independent media, rule of law, local governance, and
civil society, as well as a wide range of exchanges and training.
USAID has provided Ukraine with technical assistance related to
elections, the development of political parties and grass-roots civic
organizations, and the development of independent media. A USAID-funded
rule-of-law consortium has been working with Ukrainian officials and
non-profit organizations to create a legal system supportive of a
democratic government and a market-based economy. The rule-of-law
project has been further expanded to promote cooperation between U.S.
law enforcement agencies and their Ukrainian counterparts to reform the
criminal justice system.
As of April 1995, the U.S. Information Agency (USIA) has brought nearly
800 Ukrainians to the U.S. on academic exchanges. About 90 Ukrainian
business people, journalists, local government officials, and other
professionals have participated in other exchanges. USIA visitor program
participants included then-presidential candidate Leonid Kuchma in April
1994. USIA visitor programs have highlighted such subjects as economic
and education reform, rule of law, and public administration.
The Department of Commerce's Special American Business Internship
Training (SABIT) program and the Department of Agriculture's (USDA)
Cochran Fellowship Program have brought nearly 100 business executives,
scientists, and agriculturists to the U.S. for internships and training
Support for the Social Sector. The U.S. is assisting Ukraine's efforts
to maximize equity in reform and to sustain social welfare and stability
during and beyond the transition. Toward this end, USAID is providing
assistance to local governments in redefining the roles of the public
and private sectors in providing social services to allow government to
focus limited resources on key social sectors. Training and technical
assistance is being provided to Ukrainian institutions and government
agencies on reforms of health care financing and delivery of medical
services. A number of medical partnerships between U.S. and Ukrainian
health care institutions have been established to improve both patient
care and institutional management. Also, USAID is providing training and
technical assistance on ways to improve reproductive health, focusing on
providing family planning services and reducing the use of abortion.
Humanitarian Assistance. Through the first half of FY 1995, the U.S. has
coordinated and funded the delivery of $33 million in food, medical
supplies, and clothing to Ukraine. This includes a $16-million surplus
Department of Defense hospital recently delivered to Donetsk.
Previously, the U.S. provided $25,000 in response to the January 1994
flood disaster in Ukraine's Zakarpatska oblast. In October 1993, $25,000
was provided in international disaster funding for the drilling of water
wells in the flood-stricken area of Rivne.
Operation Provide Hope has delivered food worth about $46,000 and
medicines and medical supplies worth $16 million. A large portion of
these supplies were designated for hospitals treating victims of the
Chornobyl nuclear accident. Under the Medical Assistance Initiative,
Project HOPE, a private voluntary organization, has shipped more than
$26 million worth of pharmaceutical and medical supplies to Ukraine.
In response to an epidemic of diphtheria, the U.S. sent two assessment
advisers from the Centers for Disease Control and vaccines, syringes,
and needles with a value of $1.3 million under the Emergency Medicines
Initiative. Under the Emergency Immunization Program, through Project
HOPE, measles vaccine was provided, allowing for the vaccination of all
Ukrainian children up to two years of age during 1993. In response to a
1994 request from the Ukrainian Government, the U.S. provided diphtheria
vaccines for adults and children to help Ukraine eradicate this deadly
disease. In FY 1994, USDA provided Ukraine with more than 70,000 metric
tons of food aid--valued at about $24 million--and, in FY 1995, it will
provide $25 million in PL 480 assistance.
Bilateral Trade Issues
The U.S.-Ukraine Trade Agreement, effective June 22, 1992, provides
reciprocal most-favored-nation tariff treatment to the products of each
country. Since January 1994, the Overseas Private Investment Corporation
(OPIC) has approved investment insurance totaling more than $23 million
for three projects in Ukraine. OPIC also has sponsored conferences and
exchanges to encourage joint ventures between U.S. and Ukrainian
companies. U.S. Export-Import Bank programs are currently closed in
Ukraine, but the bank is continuing to reassess Ukraine's
creditworthiness in light of recent government economic reforms with a
view to reopening lending activities as soon as possible. In March 1994,
Presidents Clinton and Kravchuk signed treaties on bilateral investment
and double taxation.
In Lisbon on May 23, 1992, the United States signed a protocol to the
Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with Ukraine, Russia, Belarus,
and Kazakstan (those states on whose territory strategic nuclear weapons
of the former Soviet Union are located). The protocol makes each state a
party to the START Treaty and commits all signatories to reductions in
strategic nuclear weapons within the seven-year period provided for in
the treaty. Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan also agreed to join the
nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) as non-nuclear weapons states.
The treaty entered into force on December 5, 1994, the same day Ukraine
acceded to the NPT.
The U.S. has pledged to provide about $300 million to Ukraine under the
Nunn-Lugar program to assist in the dismantlement of strategic offensive
arms ($205 million), defense conversion ($40 million), and nuclear
material protection ($12.5 million). The U.S. also has pledged $10
million to assist in the establishment of a Science and Technology
Center designed to provide peaceful employment opportunities to
scientists and engineers formerly involved with weapons of mass
destruction and their delivery systems.
Principal U.S. Embassy Officials
Ambassador - William Green Miller
Deputy Chief of Mission - James Schumaker
Political Counselor - Vacant
Economic Counselor - Robert Boehme
Commercial Officer - Andriy Bihun
Consular Officer - Walter Davenport
Administrative Officer - Gary Bagley
Public Affairs Officer - Robert Heath
USAID - Gregory Huger
The U.S. embassy in Kiev is at 10 Yuriya Kotsyubinskoho, 25203 (tel.
 (044) 244-7345).
TRAVEL AND BUSINESS INFORMATION
The U.S. Department of State's Consular Information Program provides
Travel Warnings and Consular Information Sheets. Travel Warnings are
issued when the State Department recommends that Americans avoid travel
to a certain country. Consular Information Sheets exist for all
countries and include information on immigration practices, currency
regulations, health conditions, areas of instability, crime and
security, political disturbances, and the addresses of the U.S. posts in
the country. Public Announcements are issued as a means to disseminate
information quickly about terrorist threats and other relatively short-
term conditions overseas which pose significant risks to the security of
American travelers. Free copies of this information are available by
calling the Bureau of Consular Affairs at 202-647-5225 or via the fax-
on-demand system: 202-647-3000. Travel Warnings and Consular Information
Sheets also are available on the Consular Affairs Internet home page:
http://travel.state.gov and the Consular Affairs Bulletin Board (CABB).
To access CABB, dial the modem number: (301-946-4400 (it will
accommodate up to 33,600 bps), set terminal communications program to N-
8-1 (no parity, 8 bits, 1 stop bit); and terminal emulation to VT100.
The login is travel and the password is info (Note: Lower case is
required). The CABB also carries international security information from
the Overseas Security Advisory Council and Department's Bureau of
Diplomatic Security. Consular Affairs Trips for Travelers publication
series, which contain information on obtaining passports and planning a
safe trip abroad, can be purchased from the Superintendent of Documents,
U.S. Government Printing Office, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250-
7954; telephone: 202-512-1800; fax 202-512-2250.
Emergency information concerning Americans traveling abroad may be
obtained from the Office of Overseas Citizens Services at (202) 647-
5225. For after-hours emergencies, Sundays and holidays, call 202-647-
Passport Services information can be obtained by calling the 24-hour, 7-
day a week automated system ($.35 per minute) or live operators 8 a.m.
to 8 p.m. (EST) Monday-Friday ($1.05 per minute). The number is 1-900-
225-5674 (TDD: 1-900-225-7778). Major credit card users (for a flat rate
of $4.95) may call 1-888-362-8668 (TDD: 1-888-498-3648)
Travelers can check the latest health information with the U.S. Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. A hotline at
(404) 332-4559 gives the most recent health advisories, immunization
recommendations or requirements, and advice on food and drinking water
safety for regions and countries. A booklet entitled Health Information
for International Travel (HHS publication number CDC-95-8280) is
available from the U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC
20402, tel. (202) 512-1800.
Information on travel conditions, visa requirements, currency and
customs regulations, legal holidays, and other items of interest to
travelers also may be obtained before your departure from a country's
embassy and/or consulates in the U.S. (for this country, see Principal
Government Officials listing in this publication).
U.S. citizens who are long-term visitors or traveling in dangerous areas
are encouraged to register at the U.S. embassy upon arrival in a country
(see Principal U.S. Embassy Officials listing in this publication). This
may help family members contact you in case of an emergency.
Further Electronic Information:
Department of State Foreign Affairs Network. Available on the Internet,
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fax (202) 512-2250.
National Trade Data Bank (NTDB). Operated by the U.S. Department of
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NTDB Help-Line at (202) 482-1986 for more information.
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