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107th Congress, 2d Session - - - - - - - - - - - House Document 107-240 


 
                     EMIGRATION LAWS AND POLICIES

                               __________

                             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>


July 8, 2002.--Referred to the Committee on Ways and Means and ordered 
                             to be printed
                               __________

                    U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
99-011                    WASHINGTON : 2002

                                           The White House,
                                          Washington, July 3, 2002.
Hon. J. Dennis Hastert,
Speaker of the House of Representatives,
Washington, DC.
    Dear Mr. Speaker: Pursuant to sections 402 and 409 of the 
Trade Act of 1974, I am submitting an updated report to the 
Congress prepared by my Administration on the emigration laws 
and policies of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the 
Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and 
Uzbekistan.
    On September 21, 1994, President Clinton determined and 
reported to the Congress that the Russian Federation was not in 
violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of subsection 402(a) 
of the Trade Act of 1974, or paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of 
subsection 409(a) of that Act. On June 3, 1997, he also 
determined and reported to the Congress that Armenia, 
Azerbaijan, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine were not in violation 
of the same provisions, and 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.
    On June 29, 2000, pursuant to section 302(b) of Public Law 
106-200, President Clinton determined that title IV of the 1974 
Trade Act should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan, and on December 
29, 2000, he made a similar determination with respect to 
Georgia pursuant to section 3002 of Public Law 106-476.
    The attached report indicates continued compliance by 
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the Russian 
Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan 
with international standards concerning freedom of emigration.
            Sincerely,
                                                    George W. Bush.
   Report to the Congress Concerning Emigration Laws and Policies of 
   Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazkhstan, 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 section 402(a) and paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 
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 section 402(a) and 
paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 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, Tajkistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are not in 
violation of paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 402(a) and 
paragraphs (1), (2), or (3) of section 409(a) of the Act.
    Pursuant to Section 302(b) of Public Law 106-200, the 
President determined on June 29, 2000 that Title IV of the 1974 
Trade Act should no longer apply to Kyrgyzstan, and pursuant to 
section 3002 of Public Law 106-476, the President determined on 
December 29, 2000 that Title IV of the 1974 Trade Act should no 
longer apply to Georgia. Therefore, this reporting requirement 
is no longer applicable to Kyrgyzstan and Georgia.
    All current information indicates that the emigration laws 
and practices of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Moldova, the 
Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and 
Uzbeistan 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 sections.

                                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, upwards of one million 
Armenian citizens, approximately one-third of the population at 
independence, have emigrated or reside semi-permanently outside 
the Republic of Armenia.

                               AZERBAIJAN

    Azerbaijan's 1995 constitution guarantees the right of all 
its citizens to travel abroad. Azerbaijan's law officially 
recognizes and protects the right to emigrate. The Government 
respects these rights in practice, and there is active Jewish 
emigration to Israel. The Israeli Embassy in Baku has commended 
the Government for nurturing a free atmosphere for such travel. 
They report no instances of Government harassment or 
restrictions toward Jewish Azerbaijanis wishing to emigrate.

                               KAZAKHSTAN

    The right to emigrate is protected by Kazakhstan's 
constitution and is respected in practice. On July 26, 2001, 
Kazakhstan became the first country in Central Asia to abolish 
the requirement for an exit visa for Kazakhstan citizens 
temporarily traveling abroad. Outright refusal to grant exit 
visas for permanent departure is rare and has generally been 
connected with government opponents subject to pending legal 
cases. A law on national security prohibits persons who have 
had access to state secrets from taking up residence abroad for 
5 years after the access. The Government has applied the Law on 
State Secrets to block the foreign travel of one former 
official since the law's passage in 1999. That official has 
since been allowed to travel.

                                MOLDOVA

    The right of citizens to emigrate is guaranteed in 
Moldova's constitution and 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 
the first 6 months of 2002. Moldova's record on free emigration 
is one of the best in the Newly Independent States. The 
Government eliminated emigration restrictions in 1991 and few 
difficulties with emigration have been reported in the 10 years 
since independence.

                         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 denypermission to travel abroad for given periods up 
to 10 years 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 had 
held four sessions in 2002. During these four sessions, the 
Commission reviewed 64 cases, lifting restrictions in 50 cases 
(77 percent), leaving restrictions in place in 8 cases (12 
percent), and deferring decisions in 6 cases (9 percent). 
Nongovernmental Organizations (NGOs) that have worked with the 
commission from its initiation complain that the degree of 
transparency in the commission's work has decreased, as human 
rights activists are no longer granted free access to the names 
of the appellants.
    From 1995 through April 2002, out of an estimated 2,641 
cases reviewed, the interagency commission lifted restrictions 
in an estimated 2,178 cases (82 percent). Since the start of 
the Commission in 1995, the annual percentage of positive 
decisions had appeared to decrease from 90 percent to 71 
percent in 2000. So far, after four meetings in 2002, the 
percentage of positive decisions is 77 percent for the year. 
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 
otherwise release them.
    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 or 
if they have evaded financial obligations imposed by a court.

                               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. Persons who wish to emigrate beyond the borders of 
the former Soviet Union must receive the approval of the 
relevant country's embassy in order to obtain their passport. 
Persons who settle abroad are required to inform the Tajikistan 
embassy or Tajikistan interests section of the nearest Russian 
embassy or consulate.
    The Ministry of Security requires citizens who wish to 
travel abroad to obtain an exit visa, but exit visas are rarely 
denied. This process sometimes includes lengthy interviews. The 
Ministry of Security sometimes withholds or delays exit visas 
when it believes that other ministries or NGOs are infringing 
upon its jurisdiction and have not adhered to its formalities 
for foreign travel.

                              TURKMENISTAN

    Turkmenistan's constitution guarantees the right to 
emigrate, but in practical terms citizens must first obtain 
permission 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 or 
not the children are emigrating. Those with military 
obligations must de-register with the Ministry of Defense. By 
law the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must process the 
application and emigration documents within 3 months. Although 
the Ministry rarely denies such applications, some opposition 
figures have been prevented from emigrating.
    In the past, citizens were not permitted to travel outside 
the country without official permission. The Government has 
used its authority to issue passports and exit visas as a means 
of restricting international travel. In December 2001, the 
Government announced the abolishment of exit visas. According 
to the announcement, as of January 1, 2002, a foreign entry 
visa or an invitation to travel outside of the country is 
sufficient to travel abroad. Most citizens are permitted to 
emigrate without undue restriction.

                                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 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 their 
right 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. A large percentage of Ukraine's Jewish population 
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. The Government 
has in rare instances confiscated travel documents of specific 
individuals. In most of these cases, we have been able to 
convince the Government to return the documents.
    Exit visas are valid for a period of 2 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. It has on rare 
occasion refused to issue these visas.

                                  <all>


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