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H.Doc.104-92 EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF BULGARIA ...


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        104th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - - - House 
Document 104-91


 
          EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

 AN UPDATED REPORT CONCERNING THE EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF THE 
           RUSSIAN FEDERATION, PURSUANT TO 19 U.S.C. 2432(b)


<GRAPHIC NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>

    June 30, 1995.--Message and accompanying papers referred to the 
         Committee on Ways and Means and ordered to be printed
To the Congress of the United States:
    On September 21, 1994, I determined and reported to the 
Congress that the Russian Federation is in full compliance with 
the freedom of emigration criteria of sections 402 and 409 of 
the Trade Act of 1974. This action allowed for the continuation 
of most-favored-nation (MFN) status for Russia and certain 
other activities without the requirement of a waiver.
    As required by law, I am submitting an updated Report to 
Congress concerning the emigration laws and policies of the 
Russian Federation. You will find that the report indicates 
continued Russian compliance with U.S. and international 
standards in the area of emigration.
                                                William J. Clinton.
    The White House, June 30, 1995.
   Report on Progress Concerning Emigration Laws and Policies of the 
                           Russian Federation

    This report is submitted pursuant to sections 402 and 409 
of the Trade Act of 1974, as amended (``the Act''), following 
Presidential Determination Number 94-51 of September 21, 1994, 
and the accompanying report to Congress, that the Russian 
Federation is not in violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) 
of sections 402(a) and 409(a) of the Act.
    All current information indicates that the emigration laws 
and practices of the Russian Federation continue to satisfy the 
criteria set forth in sections 402(a) and 409(a) of the Act in 
respect of all matters covered in those subsections.
    The Russian Constitution adopted by referendum on December 
12, 1993 guarantees all Russian citizens the right to emigrate. 
A new procedure in line with international standards governing 
citizens' travel abroad came into force in Russia on January 1, 
1993. The time for processing passport applications is three 
months on average. Cases involving applicants who had or have 
access to secret information usually take at least four months 
to process. Russia does not impose more than nominal taxes or 
fees on emigration.
    Consistent with international legal standards, the 
Government of Russia established a body in June 1993 to hear 
appeals of cases in which permission to emigrate is refused on 
the basis of access to state secrets. This Interagency 
Commission, chaired by a Deputy Foreign Minister, met fourteen 
times and reviewed 198 secrecy refusals between June 1994 and 
June 1995. According to an advocacy group, 182 of these cases 
were decided in favor of the applicant. The remaining 16 
applicants were refused permission to travel. Two were told 
they must wait six months, one was told he must wait four years 
and the remaining applicants were told they must wait two to 
three years. Because there is currently a substantial backlog 
of cases before the Commission, it can take six months or 
longer to have a case heard.
    The United States has consistently urged the Russian 
government to resolve so-called ``poor relative'' cases in 
which permission to emigrate is refused on the basis of 
unresolved financial obligations to immediate relatives. We 
have received encouraging reports that the Russian courts are 
now hearing these ``poor relative'' cases, and in two instances 
courts in St. Petersburg decided in favor of the applicants 
seeking to emigrate. We will continue to follow closely the 
progress of the Russian courts on this issue to determine if 
they provide an effective mechanism for resolving these cases.
    As a result of such progress, tens of thousands of Russian 
citizens emigrate annually. In 1994, 25,198 Russian citizens 
emigrated to Israel. The number of cases on the listings of 
refuseniks maintained by American Jewish organizations has 
decreased from over one thousand in the late 1980's to a much 
smaller number today. Russian and American human rights groups, 
leaders of Jewish communities in Russia, and officials of third 
governments have told us repeatedly in recent months that 
freedom of emigration is a reality in Russia.
    Moreover, the Russian government has made firm public 
statements against anti-Semitism and intolerant behavior. 
During the May 9 events commemorating the fiftieth anniversary 
of the end of World War II in Europe, President Yeltsin 
highlighted the need to prevent the rise of fascism in Russia. 
In March, the President issued a decree ``On Measures to Ensure 
Coordinated Activities of State Power Bodies in Fighting 
Fascism and Other Forms of Political Extremism in the Russian 
Federation.'' During the January 1994 Moscow Summit, President 
Yeltsin joined President Clinton in condemning anti-Semitism 
and all forms of ethnic and religious intolerance. This marked 
the first public denunciation of anti-Semitism by Moscow's top 
leader in Russian history.
    Prime Minister Chernomyrdin has also expressed concern 
about anti-Semitism. In September 1994, he sent an 
unprecedented Rosh Hashanah greeting to Russian Jews. Within 
hours of his arrival in the United States in June 1994, Prime 
Minister Chernomyrdin met with American Jewish leaders at his 
official residence to hear their concerns about human rights 
and the treatment of Russian Jews. He later visited the 
Holocaust Museum, an event which was widely reported in the 
Russian media.
    We recognize that actions and statements by Russian leaders 
cannot by themselves eradicate the roots of intolerance. But 
they constitute a crucial step forward toward that goal. We 
commend Russian government authorities at all levels for 
efforts they have made to discourage anti-democratic behavior 
and will continue to work with Russian officials to ensure such 
efforts continue and are strengthened.
    In addition to having made great progress in its emigration 
practices, the Russian Federation has productive relations with 
the United States, and has demonstrated its commitment to the 
transition to a democratic, free market society.
                               <greek-d> 

Pages: 1

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