Text: H.Con.Res.128 — 107th Congress (2001-2002)All Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (05/08/2001)

 
[Congressional Bills 107th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Con. Res. 128 Introduced in House (IH)]







107th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. CON. RES. 128

 Expressing the sense of the Congress that the continued participation 
of the Russian Federation in the Group of Eight must be conditioned on 
 the Russian Federation's voluntary acceptance of and adherence to the 
                   norms and standards of democracy.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                              May 8, 2001

  Mr. Lantos (for himself and Mr. Smith of New Jersey) submitted the 
following concurrent resolution; which was referred to the Committee on 
                        International Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                         CONCURRENT RESOLUTION


 
 Expressing the sense of the Congress that the continued participation 
of the Russian Federation in the Group of Eight must be conditioned on 
 the Russian Federation's voluntary acceptance of and adherence to the 
                   norms and standards of democracy.

Whereas in 1991 and subsequent years the leaders of the Group of Seven (``G-
        7''), the forum of the heads of state or heads of government of the 
        major democracies of the world which meet annually in a summit meeting, 
        invited the Russian Federation to a post-summit dialog, and in 1998 the 
        leaders of the Group of Seven formally invited the Russian Federation to 
        participate in an annual gathering that thereafter became known as the 
        Group of Eight (``G-8''), although the Group of Seven have continued to 
        hold informal summit meetings and ministerial meetings that do not 
        include the Russian Federation;
Whereas the invitation to President Yeltsin of the Russian Federation to 
        participate in these annual summits was in recognition of his commitment 
        to democratization and economic liberalization, despite the fact that 
        the Russian Federation's economy has been weak and its commitment to 
        democratic principles has been uncertain;
Whereas those countries which are members of the Group of Seven are pluralistic 
        democratic societies with democratic political institutions and 
        practices and they have committed themselves to the observance of 
        universally recognized standards of human rights, respect for individual 
        liberties, and democratic political practices;
Whereas free news media are fundamental to the functioning of a democratic 
        society and essential for the protection of individual liberties and 
        such freedoms can exist only in an environment that is free of state 
        control of the news media, that is free of any form of state censorship 
        or official coercion of any kind, and that is protected and guaranteed 
        by the rule of law;
Whereas the Russian Federation has engaged in a series of government actions 
        that are hostile and destructive of privately owned independently 
        operated media enterprises, particularly those news outlets that have 
        been critical of government policies and government actions;
Whereas on Saturday, April 14, 2001, the Russian Federation gas monopoly 
        Gazprom, which is partially state-owned, staged a forceful pre-dawn 
        takeover of the Russian Federation's only independently operated 
        television station NTV, replacing its Board of Directors and installing 
        government management of television operations;
Whereas on Tuesday, April 17, 2001, the daily newspaper Sevodnya, one of 
        Moscow's independent newspapers, was abruptly closed and the news 
        magazine Itogi, which is published in partnership with Newsweek, may 
        also be forced to close in the near future;
Whereas the tax authorities of the Russian Federation, have begun to harass TNT, 
        a small cable station that has been allowing the journalists ousted from 
        the NTV station to air their newscasts on its channel since the takeover 
        by Gazprom; and
Whereas the continued participation of the Russian Federation in the Group of 
        Eight must be conditioned on the Russian Federation's acceptance of and 
        adherence to the norms and standards of democracy: Now, therefore, be it
    Resolved by the House of Representatives (the Senate concurring), 
That it is the sense of the Congress that--
            (1) the participation of the Russian Federation in the 
        Group of Eight must be suspended until the Russian Federation 
        demonstrates its commitment to the existence of a free, 
        unfettered, and independent media and the free exchange of 
        ideas and views, including opportunities for private ownership 
        of media enterprises, the right of people to receive news 
        without government interference and harassment, and the freedom 
        of journalists to publish opinions and news reports without 
        fear of censorship or punishment;
            (2) such participation should also be conditioned on the 
        Russian Federation's adherence to other norms and standards of 
        democracy, including--
                    (A) the freedom of all religious groups freely to 
                practice their faith in the Russian Federation, without 
                government interference on the rights and the peaceful 
                activities of such religious organizations;
                    (B) equal treatment and respect for the human 
                rights and the right to own private property of all 
                citizens of the Russian Federation;
                    (C) initiation of genuine negotiations for a just 
                and peaceful resolution of the conflict in Chechnya, 
                including a full investigation of the conflict and 
                bringing to justice those individuals, civilian or 
                military, who in a court of law are found to be guilty 
                of criminal violations of human rights;
                    (D) respect for the rule of law and improvement of 
                civil and legal institutions to implement and defend 
                these rights; and
                    (E) reform of the judicial system to prevent the 
                arbitrary detention of citizens and provide for a 
                speedy trial and equal access to the judicial system; 
                and
            (3) the President and the Secretary of State should take 
        all necessary steps to suspend the participation of the Russian 
        Federation in the G-8 until the Government of the Russian 
        Federation demonstrates that it adheres to the norms and 
        standards described in paragraphs (1) and (2), in particular 
        the existence of a free and unfettered press, and are requested 
        to convey to appropriate officials of the Government of the 
        Russian Federation, including the President, the Prime 
        Minister, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, this expression 
        of the views of the Congress.
                                 <all>

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