Home > 106th Congressional Bills > H.R. 4249 (ih) To foster cross-border cooperation and environmental cleanup in Northern Europe. [Introduced in House] ...

H.R. 4249 (ih) To foster cross-border cooperation and environmental cleanup in Northern Europe. [Introduced in House] ...


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        H.R.4249

                       One Hundred Sixth Congress

                                 of the

                        United States of America


                          AT THE SECOND SESSION

           Begun and held at the City of Washington on Monday,
             the twenty-fourth day of January, two thousand


                                 An Act


 
To foster cross-border cooperation and environmental cleanup in Northern 
                                 Europe.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the ``Cross-Border Cooperation and 
Environmental Safety in Northern Europe Act of 2000''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS AND PURPOSE.

    (a) Findings.--The Congress finds the following:
        (1) Northern Europe is an increasingly vital part of Europe and 
    one that offers great opportunities for United States investment.
        (2) Northern Europe offers an excellent opportunity to make 
    progress toward the United States vision of a secure, prosperous, 
    and stable Europe, in part because of--
            (A) historical tradition of regional cooperation;
            (B) the opportunity to engage Russia in positive, 
        cooperative activities with its neighbors to the west;
            (C) commitment by the Baltic states to regional cooperation 
        and integration into western institutions; and
            (D) longstanding, strong ties with the United States.
        (3) The United States Northern Europe Initiative (NEI) provides 
    the conceptual and operational framework for United States policy 
    in the region, focused on developing a regional network of 
    cooperation in the important areas of business and trade promotion, 
    law enforcement, the environment, energy, civil society, and public 
    health.
        (4) A central objective of the United States Northern Europe 
    Initiative is to promote cross-border cooperation among the 
    countries in the region.
        (5) A wide variety of regional and cross-border projects have 
    been initiated under the United States Northern Europe Initiative 
    since the Initiative was established in 1997, including the 
    following:
            (A) A United States-Lithuanian training program for 
        entrepreneurs from Belarus and Kaliningrad.
            (B) The Great Lakes-Baltic Sea Partnership program that is 
        being implemented by the Environmental Protection Agency.
            (C) A Center of Excellence for Treatment of Multidrug-
        Resistant Tuberculosis in Riga, Latvia.
            (D) A regional HIV/AIDS strategy being developed under 
        United States and Finnish leadership.
            (E) Multiple efforts to combat organized crime, including 
        regional seminars for police officers and prosecutors.
            (F) Programs to encourage reform of the Baltic electricity 
        market and encourage United States investment in such market.
            (G) Language and job training programs for Russian-speaking 
        minorities in Latvia and Estonia to promote social integration 
        in those countries.
            (H) A mentoring partnership program for woman entrepreneurs 
        in the northwest region of Russia and the Baltic states, as 
        part of broader efforts to promote women's participation in 
        political and economic life.
        (6) Norway, Sweden, and Finland have made considerable efforts 
    to provide assistance to the newly independent Baltic states and to 
    the Northwest region of Russia. In particular, the United States 
    notes the request placed before the European Union by Finland in 
    1999 for the creation and extensive funding by the European Union 
    of a ``Northern Dimension'' Initiative to substantially address the 
    problems that now exist in Northern Europe with regard to economic 
    development, protection of the environment, the safety and 
    containment of nuclear materials, and other issues.
        (7) The United States commends the endorsement of the 
    ``Northern Dimension'' Initiative by the European Council at its 
    meeting in Helsinki, Finland in December 1999 and calls on the 
    European Union to act on that endorsement through the provision of 
    substantial funding for the Initiative.
        (8) While the European Union, its member states, and other 
    European countries should clearly take the lead in addressing the 
    challenges posed in Northern Europe, in particular through 
    appropriate yet substantial assistance provided by the European 
    Union, the United States Northern Europe Initiative, and this Act 
    are intended to supplement such efforts and build on the 
    considerable assistance that the United States has already provided 
    to the Baltic states and the Russian Federation. Partnership with 
    other countries in the region means modest United States investment 
    can have significant impact.
        (9) The United States Northern Europe Initiative's focus on 
    regional environmental challenges is particularly important. 
    Northern Europe is home to significant environmental problems, 
    particularly the threat posed by nuclear waste from Russian 
    submarines, icebreakers, and nuclear reactors.
        (10) In particular, 21,000 spent fuel assemblies from Russian 
    submarines are lying exposed near Andreeyeva Bay, nearly 60 
    dangerously decrepit nuclear submarines, many in danger of sinking, 
    are languishing in the Murmansk area of Northwest Russia, whole 
    reactors and radioactive liquid waste are stored on unsafe floating 
    barges, and there are significant risks of marine and atmospheric 
    contamination from accidents arising from loss of electricity or 
    fire on deteriorating, poorly monitored nuclear submarines.
        (11) This waste poses a threat to the safety and stability of 
    Northern Europe and to countries of the Eurasian continent.
        (12)(A) In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency has 
    facilitated the expansion and upgrading of a facility for the 
    treatment of low-level liquid radioactive waste from the 
    decommissioning of nuclear submarines docked at naval facilities in 
    the Arctic region of Russia.
        (B) The Environmental Protection Agency has also initiated a 
    project to construct an 80-ton prototype cask for the storage and 
    transport of civilian-controlled spent nuclear fuel, much of it 
    damaged and currently stored onboard an aging vessel anchored in 
    Murmansk Harbor. Currently in the design phase, this project is 
    scheduled for completion in 2000.
        (13) Working with the countries in the region to address these 
    environmental problems remains vital to the long-term national 
    interest of the United States.
        (14) The United States and other countries are currently 
    negotiating a number of agreements with Russia which will provide 
    internationally accepted legal protections for the United States 
    and other countries that provide nuclear waste management 
    assistance to Russia. Regrettably, it has not yet been possible to 
    resolve remaining differences over liability, taxation of 
    assistance, privileges and immunities for foreign contractors, and 
    audit rights.
        (15) Concluding these agreements is vital to the continued 
    provision of such assistance and to the possible development of new 
    programs.
        (16) With the election of Russian President Vladamir Putin, the 
    opportunity presents itself to surmount these problems, to conclude 
    these outstanding agreements, and to allow assistance programs to 
    move forward to alleviate this problem.
        (17) The United States Government is currently studying whether 
    dismantlement of multi-purpose submarines is in the national 
    interest.
    (b) Purpose.--The purpose of this Act is to demonstrate concrete 
support for continued cross-border cooperation in Northern Europe and 
immediate efforts to assist in the clean up of nuclear waste in that 
region.

 SEC. 3. SENSE OF THE CONGRESS.

    It is the sense of the Congress that--
        (1) the United States Northern Europe Initiative is a sound 
    framework for future United States involvement in Northern Europe;
        (2) the European Union should move expeditiously to authorize 
    and fund the proposed ``Northern Dimension'' Initiative at 
    appropriate yet substantial levels of assistance;
        (3) the United States should continue to support a wide-ranging 
    strengthening of democratic and civic institutions on a regional 
    basis to provide a foundation for political stability and 
    investment opportunities, including cross-border exchanges, in 
    Northern Europe;
        (4) the United States should demonstrate continued commitment 
    to address environmental security challenges in Northwest Russia, 
    in cooperation with partners in the region;
        (5) recently-elected Russian President Vladamir Putin should 
    rapidly conclude pending nuclear waste management agreements to 
    enable assistance programs to go forward; and
        (6) assistance to Russia on nuclear waste management should 
    only be provided after issues related to liability, taxation of 
    assistance, privileges and immunities for foreign contractors, and 
    audit rights have been resolved.

SEC. 4. SUPPORT FOR UNITED STATES NORTHERN EUROPE INITIATIVE PROJECTS.

    (a) Availability of Amounts From East European and the Baltic 
States Assistance.--Of the amounts available for fiscal year 2001 to 
carry out the provisions of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the 
Support for Eastern European Democracy (SEED) Act of 1989 for 
assistance and for related programs for Eastern Europe and the Baltic 
states, not less than $2,000,000 shall be used for projects described 
in subsection (c).
    (b) Availability of Amounts From Independent States of the Former 
Soviet Union Assistance.--Of the amounts available for fiscal year 2001 
to carry out the provisions of chapter 11 of part I of the Foreign 
Assistance Act of 1961 and the Freedom for Russia and Emerging Eurasian 
Democracies and Open Markets Support Act of 1992 for assistance for the 
independent states of the former Soviet Union and related programs, not 
less than $2,000,000 shall be used for the projects described in 
subsection (c).
    (c) Projects Described.--The projects described in this subsection 
are United States Northern Europe Initiative projects relating to 
environmental cleanup, law enforcement, public health, energy, business 
and trade promotion, and civil society.

SEC. 5. REPORT ON ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY.

    Not later that 180 days after the date of the enactment of this 
Act, the Secretary of State, in consultation with the heads of other 
appropriate Federal departments and agencies, shall prepare and submit 
to the Congress a report on--
        (1) the threat to the environmental security of the countries 
    of Northern Europe and other countries of Europe and Asia presented 
    by Russian marine nuclear reactors, waste, and contamination; and
        (2) identifying the possibilities for new and expanded United 
    States and multilateral assistance programs for environmental 
    clean-up in Northwest Russia, including technical exchanges and 
    private-public partnerships.

SEC. 6. DEFINITIONS.

    In this Act:
        (1) Northern europe.--The term ``Northern Europe'' means the 
    northwest region of the Russian Federation (including Kaliningrad), 
    the Republic of Belarus, the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of 
    Latvia, the Republic of Lithuania, the Kingdom of Denmark, the 
    Republic of Finland, the Republic of Iceland, the Kingdom of 
    Norway, the Republic of Poland, and the Kingdom of Sweden.
        (2) United states northern europe initiative.--The term 
    ``United States Northern Europe Initiative'' means the framework 
    agreement established in 1997 between the United States and the 
    countries of Northern Europe to promote stability in the Baltic Sea 
    region and to strengthen key institutions and security structures 
    of the United States and the countries of Northern Europe.

                               Speaker of the House of Representatives.

                            Vice President of the United States and    
                                               President of the Senate.

Pages: 1

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