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H.Doc.107-18 AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE GOVERNMENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA ...


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107th Congress, 1st Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 107-17 


 
EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN, KAZAKHSTAN, 
  MOLDOVA, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENISTAN, UKRAINE, 
  AND UZBEKISTAN

                               __________

                             COMMUNICATION

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              transmitting

   AN UPDATED REPORT CONCERNING THE EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES OF 
   ARMENIA, AZERBAIJAN, KAZAKHSTAN, MOLDOVA, THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION, 
   TAJIKISTAN, TURKMENISTAN, UKRAINE, AND UZBEKISTAN, PURSUANT TO 19 
                             U.S.C. 2432(b)

<GRAPHIC(S) NOT AVAILABLE IN TIFF FORMAT>


  January 20, 2001.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and 
                         ordered to be printed
                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
89-011                     WASHINGTON : 2001

                                           The White House,
                                      Washington, January 17, 2001.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: On September 21, 1994, I determined and 
reported to the Congress that the Russian Federation was not in 
violation of paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of subsection 402(a) of 
the Trade Act of 1974, or paragraph (1), (2), or (3) of 
subsection 409(a) of that Act. On June 3, 1997, I determined 
and reported to the Congress that Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, 
Moldova, and Ukraine were not in violation of the same 
provisions, and I made an identical determination on December 
5, 1997, with respect to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, 
Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. These actions allowed for the 
continuation of normal trade relations for these countries and 
certain other activities without the requirement of an annual 
waiver.
    Pursuant to section 302(b) of Public Law 106-200, on June 
29, 2000, I determined that title IV of the 1974 Trade Act 
should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan.
    As required by law, I am submitting an updated report to 
the Congress concerning the emigration laws and policies of 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian 
Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan. 
The report indicates continued compliance of these countries 
with international standards concerning freedom of emigration.
            Sincerely,
                                                William J. Clinton.
   Report to the Congress Concerning Emigration Laws and Policies of 
   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian Federation, 
           Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan

    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 the 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; Presidential 
Determination Number 97-27 of June 3, 1997, and the 
accompanying report to the Congress, that Armenia, Azerbaijan, 
Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine are not in violation of 
paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of sections 402(a) and 409(a) of 
the Act; and Presidential Determination Number 98-7 of December 
5, 1997, and the accompanying report to the Congress, that 
Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and 
Uzbekistan are not in violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) 
of sections 402(a) and 409(a) of the Act.
    Pursuant to Section 302(b) of Public Law 106-200, the 
President determined on June 29, 2000, the Title IV of the 1974 
Trade Act should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan. Therefore this 
reporting requirement is no longer applicable to Kyrgyzstan.
    All current information indicates that the emigration laws 
and practices of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the 
Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and 
Uzbekistan 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.

                                armenia

    The Armenian constitution guarantees the right of its 
citizens to freedom of foreign travel and emigration, and that 
right is respected in practice. Persons subject to military 
service can legally be denied permission to travel abroad, but 
this seldom occurs. Members of religious organizations other 
than the Armenian Apostolic Church are required by law to 
obtain prior permission from the State Council on Religious 
Affairs to travel abroad, but this law has not been enforced 
since 1997. Since independence in 1991, perhaps as many as 1.5 
million Armenian citizens, more than 40 percent of the total 
population, may have emigrated or semi-permanently resettled 
elsewhere.

                               azerbaijan

    Azerbaijan's 1995 constitution guarantees the right of all 
its citizens to travel abroad. The right to emigrate is 
officially recognized and protected by Azerbaijani law, and 
that right is respected in practice. The government may only 
limit the right to emigrate in cases involving military draft 
liability, criminal record, or pending criminal charges, or 
previous access to state secrets (the last limitation does not 
pertain to emigration to other countries of the former Soviet 
Union). The government has not interfered with the right to 
emigrate in the first half of 2000.

                               kazakhstan

    Kazakhstan's constitution provides for the right to 
emigrate. This right is respected in practice. An exit visa is 
required for all Kazakhstanis, including intending emigrants, 
who wish to travel abroad. Exit visas are routinely issued by 
the Department of Visas and Registration after a number of 
bureaucratic requirements have been met. Temporary exit visas 
are issued within three days to one month, with fees ranging 
from approximately 10 dollars to 52 dollars depending on the 
urgency and whether the traveler previously held an exit visa. 
Exit visas processed through travel agencies (with an 
additional charge from the travel agency) are obtained much 
more quickly than those based on private applications. An 
opposition leader was not given an exit visa to attend a 
conference in London during the past year. Rumors circulated 
that the non-issuance was ordered by the National Security 
Committee; however, these rumors cannot be confirmed. Other 
opposition group leaders were given exit visas during the year.
    The typical time frame for issuance of an exit visa for an 
intending emigrant is approximately three months, though cases 
have taken longer. Delays may occur both with the local police, 
in processing criminal checks, and with the Department of Visas 
and Registration. Applicants must provide evidence that they 
have no outstanding financial obligations. As well, close 
relatives with a claim to support from the applicant must give 
their concurrence. A law on national security prohibits persons 
who have had access to state secrets from taking up residence 
abroad for five years.
    Outright refusal to grant exit visas (either temporary or 
permanent) is rare and is generally connected to those 
opponents of the government who are subject to pending legal 
cases.

                                MOLDOVA

    The right of citizens to emigrate is guaranteed in 
Moldova's constitution. This right is respected in practice. 
Individuals wishing to emigrate must satisfy any outstanding 
financial and/or judicial obligations before emigrating. No 
reports of denial of emigration rights have been recorded in 
2000.

                         THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION

    Legal guarantees of the right to emigrate are enshrined in 
Russia's constitution and in law, and that right is respected 
in practice. Russian law details the procedures for obtaining 
travel documents and provides clarification of some 
controversial policies. However, it gives the government the 
right to deny permission to travel abroad for given periods to 
Russian nationals who had access to classified material.
    The law provides a measure of transparency by requiring 
that any denial of exit permission on secrecy grounds must (1) 
specify reasons for and duration of the restriction, and (2) 
indicate the full name and legal address of the organization 
that requested the restriction. The law also formalized the 
status of an interagency commission that hears appeals of 
Russian nationals refused permission to travel based on secrecy 
grounds.
    As of the writing of this report, the commission held four 
sessions in 2000. During these four sessions, the commission 
reviewed 115 cases, lifting restrictions in 85 cases (74 
percent), leaving restrictions in place in 18 cases (16 
percent) and deferring decisions in 12 cases (10 percent). (The 
Ministry of Foreign Affairs notes these numbers are only a 
rough indicator of the commission's activity, as level of 
secrecy involved in individual cases varies considerably.)
    From 1995 through April 2000, out of 2086 cases reviewed, 
the interagency commission refused to lift restrictions in 301 
cases (14 percent). Human rights organizations point out, 
however, that this number includes only persons who appealed 
the decision to restrict travel to the commission. The total 
number of persons who were refused passports for foreign travel 
on secrecy grounds is thought to be much larger. Russia's 
Ministry of Internal Affairs, however, does not publish these 
statistics or release them to NGOs.
    Russian law also grants the state the right to refuse 
travel abroad to individuals who are the subject of legal 
proceedings or convicts who have not served their sentences. In 
addition, it allows the state to deny travel abroad 
``temporarily'' if an individual has evaded financial 
obligations imposed by a court, such as alimony payments. This 
rule has allowed relatives or former spouses to delay or even 
veto emigration plans of some Russian nationals.
    In the previous legal regime, there was a requirement that 
Russian citizens obtain a special stamp from the Ministry of 
the Interior in addition to a passport before they emigrate. In 
early 1997, new legislation eliminated this requirement. 
However, the Interior Ministry continues to issue an exit stamp 
equivalent. The policy of the Federal Border Service (FBS) 
reportedly is that it no longer requires the stamp, but, in 
practice, some FBS officers continue to require it.

                               TAJIKISTAN

    Tajikistan's constitution provides for the right to 
emigrate, and this right is respected in practice. Persons who 
wish to emigrate may do so with the permission of various 
ministries.

                              TURKMENISTAN

    Turkmenistan's constitution guarantees to citizens the 
right to emigrate, but procedurally permission must first be 
obtained from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In order to 
emigrate, citizens must submit an application, an invitation 
from the country of destination, evidence of freedom from debts 
and other financial obligations, and written consent from 
family members. Divorced applicants with children must present 
an affidavit of consent from their former spouse, whether the 
children are emigrating or not. Those with military obligations 
must de-register with the Ministry of Defense. Under Turkmen 
law, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must process the 
application and documents for emigration within three months. 
Although the Ministry rarely denies such applications, some 
opposition figures have been prevented from emigrating.

                                UKRAINE

    Ukrainian law and the 1996 constitution guarantee the right 
to emigrate, and that right is respected in practice. All 
citizens are eligible for passports that permit free travel 
abroad. There remains a requirement to obtain an exit visa from 
the local Office of Visas and Registration (OVIR) for 
Ukrainians who intend to take up permanent residence in another 
country. Ukraine does not impose taxes or fees on those who 
emigrate. Reports of local bureaucrats assessing bribes for 
routine passport and exit visa issuances are common. However, 
human rights groups report that persons need only appeal to 
national-level authorities to resolve their status and 
establish theirright to emigrate. Some draft-age men have been 
refused the right to emigrate pending clarification of their status 
with the military. Cases involving applicants who have had or have 
access to secret information usually take longer, but secrecy has not 
been used routinely as grounds for denying permission to emigrate.
    There is one known case of an exit visa being denied. Six 
people, originally from Uzbekistan but now Ukrainian citizens, 
were granted U.S. refugee status almost two years ago after 
their husbands/fathers were extradited from Ukraine without due 
process to Uzbekistan, where they were jailed for life. These 
people have been unable to leave Ukraine or Russia for two 
years, despite having proof of Ukrainian citizenship, U.S. 
refugee status, IOM travel docs and ICRC travel docs. OVIR has 
refused to grant them exit permission on the grounds that the 
father of two of the children must give his permission, which 
he is unable to do from jail.
    A lapse in an Israeli-Ukrainian student exchange program in 
1999 led to concern about the ability of several hundred 
Jewish-Ukrainian students to travel overseas for study in 
Israel. While negotiations continued, the Ukrainian Government 
took steps to ensure that the students in question could 
travel. In April 2000, Ukrainian Education Minister Vasyl 
Kremen and Israeli Education Minister Yosi Sarid signed an 
agreement on cooperation in the sphere of education which 
provides for continuation of the Israeli-Ukrainian student 
exchange program. A large percentage of Ukraine's Jewish 
population, perhaps as much as 50 percent, has emigrated to 
Israel and the United States since Ukraine achieved 
independence in 1991.

                               uzbekistan

    Uzbekistan's constitution provides for free movement within 
the country and across its borders, and the government has 
generally respected this right. The government requires 
citizens to obtain exist visas for foreign travel or 
emigration, but grants these permits routinely. Exit visas are 
valid for a period of two years and no longer require an 
invitation from abroad. Several human rights activists were 
able to leave and reenter the country without encountering 
problems from the government. The country hosts populations of 
ethnic Koreans, Meskhetian Turks, Germans, Greeks, and Crimean 
Tartars deported to Central Asia by Stalin during World War II. 
These groups enjoy the same rights as other citizens. Although 
they are free to return to their ancestral homelands, 

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