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U.S. Department of State
93/05/27 Address at H.H. Humphrey Inst. Of Public Affairs re Russia
Office of the Spokesman

Address by
Secretary of State Warren Christopher
at the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs
University of Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota
May 27, 1993

U.S. Support for Russian Reform:  An Investment in America's Security

Fritz Mondale suggested that I come here today, and I am delighted to be 
back in the Upper Midwest.  Scranton, North Dakota, where I grew up, was 
much too small to have a daily paper, and I depended upon the 
Minneapolis Tribune, which was brought only one day late on the 
Milwaukee railroad.  I grew up on Gopher football, and probably could 
still name some of the members of the 1935 team.

In those Depression years, I learned that politics should be about 
helping people.  Through my life and in my career, no single state has 
produced more caring politicians than Minnesota--notable among them 
Fritz Mondale.

Fritz Mondale is a man I have been proud to work with and stand by for 
nearly thirty years.  We worked together to advance justice at home and 
human rights abroad.  In the Carter Administration, we worked together 
to win approval of the Panama Canal Treaties and the Taiwan Relations 
Act, two of the signature endeavors of the Carter Administration.  We 
also worked together on behalf of Southeast Asian refugees and against 
the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.

In recent years, in private life, Fritz Mondale has worked to promote 
democracy and human rights around the world as Chairman of the National 
Democratic Institute.  Wherever he has gone, Fritz has shown America's 
most decent face to the world, and reminded Americans of our most 
inspiring values.

I am especially pleased to be speaking to you today at a great state 
university that honors the memory of Hubert Humphrey.  His achievements 
on the domestic front were so imaginative and so important--from civil 
rights to Medicare--that we sometimes forget the lasting contribution he 
made in the field of international affairs.

Like many of his contemporaries, Hubert Humphrey knew what he was 
against:  communism and repression.  But like few others, he was also 
just as passionate about what he stood for and what America ought to 
stand for in the world:  peace and freedom.  He knew where America 
should go--and as much as anyone of his generation, he knew how to get 
there.  The Arms Control and Disarmament Agency; the Nuclear Test Ban 
Treaty; the Peace Corps and the Food for Peace program:  these are all 
part of Hubert's legacy.  Hubert's ideas made the world better, by 
bringing out the best in America.

This is one in a series of speeches I will be giving around the United 
States.  I want to make sure that foreign policy isn't foreign to the 
American people.

At the State Department, we have a desk for virtually every foreign 
country:  a China desk; a Brazil desk; a Russia desk.  As Secretary of 
State, I am determined that we will also have an American desk--and that 
I will sit behind it.  My principal mission is to advance the vital 
interests and values of the citizens of the United States.  That's my 

I want to help American businesses succeed in the global economy.  That 
is why I visited Honeywell earlier today to discuss their investments in 
Russia.  It was an inspiring visit to a very great company.

I want to underscore our unshakable commitment to human rights.  That is 
why I am visiting later today the Center for Victims of Torture here in 

And I want America to make essential investments in our national 
security.  That is why I have come here to talk to you about America's 
policy toward Russia.  No relationship is more important to the long-
term security of the United States than our strategic relationship with 

Today's students are the first generation of Americans to have come of 
age in the post-Cold War era.  It is your generation that will define 
America's destiny in the next century.  It is your generation that will 
decide to what purpose America's leadership and power will be put.

Today, I want to talk about our new opportunity to make a new democratic 
world.  As we meet, the people of Russia are struggling heroically to 
build a free society and a market economy.  If they succeed, the payoffs 
for America promise to be profound:  in the reduced threat of nuclear 
war; in lower defense budgets; and in the vast new markets that can fuel 
global prosperity and create jobs for Americans.

But if reform fails, and if Russia reverts to dictatorship or collapses 
into anarchy, the consequences would be appalling.  The shadow of 
nuclear confrontation could return.  Our "peace dividend" would be 
cancelled.  Cooperation in foreign policy would vanish. And the 
worldwide movement toward democracy would suffer a devastating setback.

America faces a choice.  Either we do all we can now to help Russia's 
reformers succeed--or we stand aside, take our chances, and just watch 
events unfold.  If we stand aside, we will forfeit a rare chance to 
shape a more peaceful world.

Some believe that with the end of the Cold War, America ought to step 
back from the world stage.  What a disservice that would be to all 
Americans, especially to young Americans.  You deserve the same chance 
my generation had to fulfill America's unique destiny to promote freedom 
and democracy around the world.

Some say that our nation is on a course of decline, that we can no 
longer afford to lead.  It is true that the United States faces many 
challenges today unlike any in the nation's history.  But to me, that 
means we must be more engaged internationally, not less; more ardent in 
our promotion of democracy, not less; more inspired in our leadership, 
not less.

America must lead because the need for American leadership is 
undiminished.  We are a blessed and a powerful nation.  We must shoulder 
the responsibility of world leadership.

We stand prepared to act decisively to protect our interests wherever 
and whenever necessary.  When it is necessary, we will act unilaterally 
to protect our interests.  Where collective responses are appropriate, 
we will lead in mobilizing such collective responses.  But let me make 
it clear today.  Make no mistake:  The United States will lead.

At two other points in this century, America faced a choice similar to 
the one we face today.

The first defining moment for American leadership came in 1918 in the 
aftermath of World War I.  After that terrible conflict, Europe lay 
devastated and demoralized.  Empires that had stood for centuries 
collapsed overnight.  Violent revolution and revenge erupted.

Amid the chaos, the world looked to the United States for the strength 
and moral vision to ensure a lasting peace.  That was the dream of 
President Wilson.  He was a visionary in his grasp of a profound truth 
of this bloody century:  American leadership is the linchpin of a more 
just international system.

But Wilson's plan to join the League of Nations was defeated in 
Congress.  Instead of deciding to lead, the United States chose to 
retreat.  For America and the world, the consequences were tragic.

Within a decade, the storm clouds gathered.  Hitler became Germany's 
chancellor, and, six years later, Germany marched into Czechoslovakia.  
A militarist Japan invaded Manchuria.  Fascist Italy conquered Ethiopia.  
And the systematic persecution and destruction of Europe's Jews 
commenced.  All the while, America reclined in isolationism.  Then the 
infamous attack on Pearl Harbor shattered a false peace.  And nearly 
300,000 Americans gave their lives on the battlefields of Europe and the 
Pacific to help win World War II.

Then came the second defining moment for American leadership. Americans 
saw European democracies teetering on the edge, economies lying in ruin, 
communist dictatorships consolidating their hold in Eastern Europe, the 
Iron Curtain descending, and a Cold War chilling the new peace.

Once again, the world looked to America's strength and moral force to 
build peace from the ruins of war.  But this time, America responded 

It took principled presidential leadership--and bipartisan 
statesmanship--to win congressional approval and lasting public support.  
Fortunately, we were blessed with leaders--Truman, Marshall, Acheson, 
Vandenberg--who had learned the bitter lessons of 1918.

Together, Democrats and Republicans put the pillars of peace and 
security in place--at Bretton Woods, with the Marshall Plan, and through 
NATO.  And those pillars still stood as the Berlin Wall fell.

Put simply, Communism was defeated.  Freedom was defended.  Our values 

In the late 1940s, I had returned from service in the Pacific during the 
Second World War and was attending law school.  I remember the 
atmosphere when, as Averell Harriman once said, most Americans wanted 
nothing more than to "go to the movies and drink a Coke."

Yet when the American people saw what was at stake, they exercised their 
common sense.  They accepted the necessity for American leadership of 
the post-war world.  They understood it was right, it was necessary, and 
it was in America's interest.

We spent literally trillions of dollars to deter the communist threat.  
And we put the lives of our finest young Americans on the line to 
preserve freedom.

The sacrifices were great, but the payoffs were even greater.  My 
generation enjoyed security and unparalleled prosperity.  And we helped 
to turn our former wartime adversaries--Germany and Japan--into 
peacetime allies and leading partners in the democratic community.

Certainly, there are differences between the situations we faced after 
two world wars and the situation today.  But there are also important 
parallels that ought to guide us.  We must recognize the need for 
American leadership; the need for bipartisanship in our foreign policy; 
the need to make investments now to avoid far larger expenditures and a 
much more dangerous world later; the need to talk sense to the American 

Even as we make the tough choices at home to put our economy in order, 
we must extend a hand of cooperation to the peoples of the former Soviet 
Union, not out of charity, but out of responsibility to ourselves--to 
secure our own interests and to defend our own values.  Helping 
democracy succeed in Russia is probably the wisest--and least expensive-
-investment that we can make today in America's security.

A democratic Russia creates a new global political landscape.  Today, 
Russia is showing a willingness to work with the United States and other 
nations to prevent the spread of the conflict in Bosnia and to exert 
pressure for a political outcome.  Our new relationship with Russia 
gives us the chance to work together on the world's problems, and to 
carry out preventive diplomacy and solve conflicts.

The need for American action is reinforced by the results of Russia's 
April 25 referendum.  In a great expression of democratic faith, the 
Russian people reaffirmed their commitment to political and economic 
reform. While the experts insisted that Russians had grown cynical about 
democracy and apathetic toward politics, nearly two-thirds of voters 
came to the polls.  

Even more remarkable was the outcome of the referendum itself.  After 
almost 18 months of painful economic reforms, a strong majority of the 
Russian people expressed their support for President Yeltsin and for 
more reform.  And they did so with the backing of President Clinton, 
whose support of Yeltsin and reform in Russia has been strong and 

President Clinton is determined to meet the challenge of leadership--to 
tip the global balance in favor of free-dom.  This is why he has led 
America into an alliance with Russian reform.

Working closely with Russia's democrats and our Western allies, the 
President has developed a two-part strategy to support the new Russian 
revolution:  First, a focused program of US initiatives to help the 
development of Russian democracy and free enterprise; second, a large-
scale package of measures to support a transformation of the Russian 
economy, a package jointly sponsored by the world's major industrial 
democracies and major financial institutions.

President Clinton is delivering on the commitments that he made to 
President Yeltsin at Vancouver in early April--commitments that were 
important to the outcome of the referendum.

He pledged concessional loans for agricultural products.  Very soon, 
Russia will sign a $700 million Food for Progress concessional loan 
agreement, an agreement that will provide aid for Russia.  That will 
also help wheat, corn, and soybean farmers here in the Midwest.

He pledged support for privatization in Russia.  US teams are now in 
Russia helping establish capital markets, including a fledgling stock 
market, and an Enterprise Fund to invest in start-up small businesses in 

He pledged support for student exchange programs as part of a Democracy 
Corps.  More than 2,000 Russian students will come to America in the 
coming weeks as part of "Democracy Summer."

Other parts of the Vancouver program are also moving ahead.  We are 
working to revive Russia's energy sector--to provide hard currency for 
Russia--and lessen US dependence on Persian Gulf oil.  We are also 
helping to resettle recently demobilized Russian soldiers.  That action 
will support the withdrawal of Russian troops from neighboring 

President Clinton's initiative is guided by several basic principles.

First, we want to deliver quick and tangible benefits to the Russian 
people.  If the faith demonstrated in last month's referendum is to be 
sustained, they must see that they are the beneficiaries of reform and 
not its unintentional victims.  And if Americans are to support this 
initiative, we must--and we will--make sure that the aid is not just 
well-intentioned but also well-spent.

A congressional delegation, led by House Majority Leader Richard 
Gephardt, recently saw first-hand how the United States is helping to 
make privatization work in Russia.  They observed auction centers in 
Moscow and Nizhny Novgorod both funded by USAID and operated by Price 
Water-house, to carry out the sale of state-run enterprises.

Second, we need to assist Russia's conversion to a market economy.  
Ultimately, increased interaction with the world economy--far more than 
aid--will transform Russia.  For its part, Russia needs to establish the 
necessary legal and political conditions to attract foreign trade and 
investment--which we hope will include businesses that will create 
American jobs.

For our part, President Clinton has ordered a full review of Cold War 
laws and regulations.  They were meant to restrict trade with a 
communist Soviet Union, but they now only impede our relations with a 
democratic Russia.  To the maximum extent possible, consistent with 
America's interests, US markets should be open to competitive Russian 
products.  Similarly, Americans should be allowed to export our goods 
and technology to Russia.

Third, we want to dramatically expand efforts to send American business 
and trade union leaders, farmers, and community organizers to Russia.  
We want to increase contact and cooperation between our armed forces and 
the Russian military.  We want to bring tens of thousands of Russians to 
the United States, where they can experience the sights, sounds, and 
practices of a thriving democracy and a market economy.  

Our exchange programs will place a special emphasis on the younger 
generation of Russians and Americans.  I hope each of you consider 
taking part at some point.  

Fourth, our assistance to Russia must also reinforce US security.  This 
approach means helping Russia and its neighbors dismantle their 
dangerous nuclear arsenals.  This is simply the best security that our 
money can buy.

Fifth and finally, our assistance efforts must not take place in 
isolation, but must be part of a larger partnership between Russia and 
the international community.  That is why President Clinton's strategy 
to support Russia's democracy is tied to a larger-scale multilateral 
initiative with our principal industrial partners around the world.

This multilateral program was announced last month in Tokyo at an 
extraordinary meeting of foreign and finance ministers from the seven 
major industrialized countries and Russia.  At that meeting, Russia's 
representatives outlined a bold new plan to control Russia's money 
supply, to cut its budget deficits, and to undertake even more 
fundamental economic reform.  

In response to such actions, the world's leading democracies--working 
through the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank--announced 
their readiness to provide Russia with financial support.  Fifteen 
billion dollars of Russia's foreign debt has recently been rescheduled.  
The multilateral package announced at Tokyo amounts to more than $28 
billion to help Russia stabilize its currency, finance critical imports, 
and divest itself of inefficient state enterprises.

The disbursement of these resources will be closely linked to Russia's 
progress in economic reform.  In contrast to previous assistance 
efforts, the Tokyo program sets realistic standards for Russian 
performance.  We plan to match Russia's progress with a prompt infusion 
of resources that will reinforce reform and will benefit Russian people 
at the grass-roots level.

At the G-7 meeting in Tokyo in April, the United States committed to 
going beyond the pledges made in Vancouver.  We put forth a $1.8 billion 
additional proposal to build upon our efforts in support of reform.

I am pleased that just yesterday, the funding for that proposal was 
approved by the House subcommittee that oversees these matters, chaired 
very effectively by Congressman Dave Obey from your neighboring state of 
Wisconsin.  And I am also pleased that the package drew strong 
bipartisan support.

We have made important progress since Vancouver.  I am confident that we 
will sustain that progress until the July summit meeting in Tokyo, when 
we hope for another burst of enthusiasm and commitment to support free 
markets and democracy in Russia.

Our closest allies clearly recognize that helping Russia is in their 
interest, too.  Canada, Germany, Japan, and Britain have each announced 
substantial new aid packages during the last two months.  We hope that 
by the July summit in Tokyo, we will be able to announce agreement with 
our allies on the creation of a new special privatization fund.  We will 
work closely in this effort with Japan and Germany.  And we hope that 
Japan fully recognizes the leading role it can play not only in Tokyo 
this summer, but thereafter in helping deliver the kind of total package 
that will secure Russia's place in the community of democratic nations.

I think that all of us in Washington realize that asking American 
taxpayers to help support Russia is not easy, especially when we face 
important challenges here at home.  But I disagree with those who think 
it's wrong or politically unwise to ask the American people to support a 
program that is so clearly in our interests.

That's why we are asking--and that's why we're asking now.  I urge you 
to support the President's plan to help Russia's democracy succeed.  I 
am convinced that this investment in Russia's democracy is essential to 
America's future security.

I am especially asking the young people here today to make your choice.  
I am not among those who think that your generation is disengaged, or 
cynical, or apathetic about what happens in the world around you.  Don't 
let those critics sell you short.  I believe you deserve more credit, 
and I ask you today to help prove me right.  I ask you to tell your 
parents, your peers, your representatives in Congress, that you 
understand the vital link between the success of Russian democracy and 
America's long-term security.

You understand that freedom abroad means opportunity in America.  You 
understand that assistance to our friends in Russia is insurance against 
having enemies in Russia.

If we do not act today, your generation may inherit an America of few 
choices and many burdens.  You may inherit an America of lost 
opportunities.  We may never build a national service program.  We may 
never fully fund Head Start for poor children.  We may never be able to 
afford the technologies we need to clean up our environment.  Unless we 
help Russian democracy now, we will pay the price.  And my 
responsibility, together with you, is not to let that happen.

We have come so far.  We have spent so much.  We have earned the promise 
of a safer, freer, and better world.  To retreat now would be to walk 
away from nearly a half century of American leadership, sacrifice, and 

Our purpose over the last half century was to arrive right where we are 
today:  to be able to ask the American people to form a partnership with 
Russia because it is in America's most fundamental interest.  That is 
why we ask--and that is why we are confident that the Congress and the 
American people will respond affirmatively when we make this request to 
measure up to our mutual responsibilities. 


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