|The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
February 24, 2005
U.S.-Russia Joint Fact Sheet: Bratislava Initiatives
Joint Presidential Action
The President of the Russian Federation and the President of the United States committed to pursue a number of initiatives that will make the two countries and their citizens safer and more prosperous. The Presidents issued joint statements on three matters and agreed to personally ensure progress on all three issues. They will assess progress at subsequent meetings this year.
Nuclear Security Cooperation
The two countries will enhance cooperation to counter one of the gravest threats the two countries face, nuclear terrorism. This cooperation will include:
o Enhancing an emergency response capability to deal with a nuclear or radiological incident, including development of additional technical methods to detect nuclear and radioactive materials that are, or may be, involved in the incident;
o Working together to help ensure full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1540;
o Sharing "best practices" for the sake of improving security at nuclear facilities bilaterally and with other nations with advanced nuclear programs;
o Enhancing of the "security cultures" in both countries; and
o Working jointly to develop low-enriched uranium fuel for use in any U.S.- and Russian-design research reactors in third countries now using high-enriched uranium fuel, and to return fresh and spent high-enriched uranium from U.S.- and Russian-design research reactors in third countries.
While the security of U.S. and Russian nuclear facilities meet current requirements, the Presidents stressed that these requirements must be constantly enhanced to counter evolving terrorist threats. To this end, the Presidents agreed to develop a plan of work through and beyond 2008 for cooperation on security upgrades of nuclear facilities.
The Presidents established a U.S.-Russian Senior Interagency Group for cooperation on nuclear security (including the disposition of fissile material no longer needed for defense purposes) chaired by Secretary of Energy Bodman and Rosatom Director Rumyantsev. The Senior Interagency Group will report on implementation of the two countries' cooperation in this sphere, taking into account key financial, legal, technical, and other considerations.
World Trade Organization (WTO)
The Presidents committed the United States and Russia to work together to complete our bilateral negotiations for Russia's accession to the WTO in 2005 and to help Russia complete the multilateral negotiations necessary for WTO accession. Russian WTO membership will integrate Russia more fully into the global economy, improve the trade, regulatory, and investment climate, and facilitate increased U.S.-Russian trade and investment.
The Presidents directed the U.S. and Russian Ministers of Energy and Commerce to meet to develop recommendations on how to intensify and develop further the bilateral energy dialogue, including through the mechanisms of the Energy Working Group and the Commercial Energy Dialogue. The Presidents set a goal of identifying concrete trade and investment opportunities for U.S. and Russian firms, including in support of Russia's pipeline and liquefied natural gas development and increased Russian oil and gas imports to U.S. markets; and targeting the initiation of several such projects no later than 2008.
The Presidents also instructed their governments to enhance cooperation in a number of other areas.
In the area of counterterrorism, the Presidents:
o Directed the co-chairs of the U.S.-Russian Counterterrorism Working Group to update their action plan, taking into consideration new counterterrorism challenges, and to press forward on implementation of action plan items;
o Agreed, because of the growing threat posed by terrorist use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs), to direct U.S. and Russian experts to share information on IEDs; and
o Instructed U.S. and Russian experts to facilitate efforts to store MANPADS more securely, or to destroy them if they are obsolete or otherwise exceed defense requirements, and to eliminate the illegal trade in such weapons, building on the MANPADS agreement signed in Bratislava by Minister Ivanov and Secretary Rice. That agreement provides a bilateral framework for the United States and Russia to cooperate in the control of shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles that can threaten global aviation if obtained by criminals, terrorists and other non-state actors.
o In the area of space cooperation, the Presidents called for enhanced cooperation, focusing on the International Space Station and other projects, including those related to possible lunar exploration.
Humanitarian, Social and People-to-People Cooperation
In the areas of humanitarian, social, and people-to-people cooperation, the Presidents:
o Called for efforts to further enhance our coordination when responding to humanitarian emergencies. They tasked their governments to build on previous collaboration and develop a bilateral mechanism to further improve coordination of our responses to future humanitarian emergencies and to convene a joint expert session, with other nations, to develop lessons learned from the response to the Indian Ocean tsunami;
o Affirmed their commitment to strengthening contacts between our societies and the citizens of our two countries by increasing the number of students, teachers, scientists, cultural workers, business people, and people from various professions who participate in bilateral exchange programs. They directed their governments to present specific proposals; and
o Called for greater joint efforts in countering the global threat of the spread of HIV/AIDS by identifying, training, and deploying health care professionals and raising public awareness. They instructed their governments to consider the possibility of joint work to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic in third countries, at the request of those countries.