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

H.R. 4249 (rs) To foster cross-border cooperation and environmental cleanup in Northern Europe. [Reported in Senate] ...


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106th CONGRESS
  2d Session
                                H. R. 4249


_______________________________________________________________________


                   IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

                              May 16, 2000

Received; read twice and referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                                 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.

            Passed the House of Representatives May 15, 2000.

            Attest:

                                                 JEFF TRANDAHL,

                                                                 Clerk.

Pages: 1

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