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Statement before the Subcommittees on international Operations and on Europe and the Middle East of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, Washington, DC, February 25, 1992
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am pleased to appear before you today to discuss the opening of new US Embassies in the former Soviet Union. The disappearance of the US-USSR superpower confrontation has already changed the way we think about our nation's security and our children's future. The success of the political and economic reforms underway in this region is of vital concern to all Americans.
But the success of these reforms is not assured. There are many pitfalls to be avoided if the new countries which are now being born are to develop into stable societies based on the democratic principles which we consider the only effective guarantee of a peaceful world. Secretary Baker recently told your full committee that one of our greatest challenges is to help the new states of the former Soviet Union find their place as peaceful, democratic, and prosperous members of the world community.
We are committed to being fully engaged in this process. We want to ensure that our nation's influence is put to its full use in encouraging and assisting the transition to free, democratic societies. This is the reason Secretary Baker also told your committee that top priority would be given to opening new embassies in the former Soviet Union.
To put this policy into action, the Department of State has already initiated an aggressive program of placing representatives of our government in the new states of the former Soviet Union. I would like to give you a short description of the measures we have underway, and then I will be happy to take your questions.
Our policy on opening embassies follows two recent presidential decisions. On Christmas Day, the President recognized the independence of all 12 former republics and sought to conduct diplomatic relations with 6 of the republies-Russia, Ukraine, Byelarus, Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan. Following Secretary Baker's recent trip to the former Soviet Union, the President decided last week to establish relations with five more republics-Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Moldova, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Although the Secretary met with Georgian leaders in Moscow, we are not yet prepared to conduct full diplomatic relations with Georgia. We believe …