SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS |
1. We conclude that Russian action in Chechnya
is the most severe impediment to good relations with Russia at
this time, and we recommend that pressure must continue to be
put upon Russia to respect humanitarian norms and allow in the
international aid agencies (paragraph 20).
2. We conclude that there continue to be
serious criticisms of the EU TACIS programme, in contrast to the
well-regarded Know How Fund, and that, if clear improvements are
not identified in the performance of TACIS, consideration should
be given to investigating how funds can be transferred from TACIS
to better run programmes. We commend this issue to our colleagues
on the International Development Committee (paragraph 62).
3. We recommend that the Government assess
the restrictions on trade between Russia and the EU, report to
us on the justification for those restrictions in all cases, and
consider how the commitment of the Partnership and Co-operation
Agreement and the Common Strategy to move towards a free trade
area with Russia can be brought into practice if and when relations
with Russia improve (paragraph 67).
4. We recommend that the Foreign Secretary
reports regularly to the Committee on progress with both the EU
and the British funded programmes for assisting Russia with the
disposal of weapons of mass destruction and their components (paragraph
5. We recommend that the British Government
should use its best efforts to encourage the new Russian government
to make full use of the Permanent Joint Council. Its willingness
to do so will undoubtedly depend on NATO's attitude towards this
forum. NATO must demonstrate a desire to enter into a genuine
dialogue with Russia and make a greater effort to take account
of the impact of its actions on Russia (paragraph 74).
6. The Government and its NATO partners must
build upon the opportunities presented by the joint peacekeeping
operations. We recommend that the Government consider how the
commitment in the EU's Common Strategy on Russia to facilitate
the participation of Russia in peacekeeping operations can be
taken forward in a practical manner. (Paragraph 77).
7. We accept the Government's argument that
no third country can be allowed to veto the enlargement of NATO,
but nonetheless recommend that enlargement must be considered
sensitively in the context of Europe's security as a whole. One
important element of this is Russia's relationship with NATO,
which enlargement has clearly harmed (paragraph 78).
Council of Europe
8. We recommend that British Ministers in
the Committee of Ministers and the British delegation to the Parliamentary
Assembly of the Council of Europe continue to press their Russian
colleagues to honour the principles of the Council, and that it
is made plain that membership of the Council can be forfeited
International Financial Institutions
9. While recognising the importance of the
IMF's continuing engagement in Russia, we recommend that the Government
should give greater consideration to other channels (the G7, the
World Bank, the EBRD) for promoting structural reform, and should
seek to persuade the rest of the G7 of this view (paragraph 93).
Know How Fund
10. We support the continued use of the Know
How Fund to support Russia, and recommend that the FCO stress
to the Department for International Development the political
importance of continued substantial funding of Russian programmes.
11. We recommend that the Government establish
a Good Governance Programme to co-ordinate and extend practical
assistance at practitioner level from the United Kingdom to Russia
12. We endorse the Government's current policy
on support for the promotion of human rights in Russia, and recommend
that the Government carefully review and evaluate its human rights
projects in Russia to determine the most effective result for
the resources the United Kingdom is able to offer. We also recommend
that the Government emphasise to the Russian government that non-compliance
with human rights standards is a serious impediment to partnership
with Russia (paragraph 110).
13. We recommend that pressure on Russia
to enforce proper anti money laundering standards be maintained
at the highest level, and that the assistance of British regulatory
experts be offered to Russia (paragraph 112).
14. We recommend that close attention continue
to be paid to the potential drug threat to the United Kingdom
from Russia (paragraph 113).
15. We recommend that police-to-police contacts
form part of the Good Governance Programme which we have earlier
recommended (paragraph 115).
16. We recommend that the FCO consider the
feasibility of increasing the number of crime and drug liaison
officers working in Russia, in particular considering whether
one might be based outside Moscow, and discuss with DFID the possibility
of partial funding of the new post or posts from the Know How
Fund (paragraph 116).
17. We believe that Russian nuclear safety
is of so direct an interest to the United Kingdom that the Government
must continue to seek every opportunity to assist the Russian
nuclear clear-up, frustrating as this process will often be. We
recommend that this be a priority for financial assistance from
the United Kingdom, and that the United Kingdom play an active
role in the EBRD Nuclear Safety Account (paragraph 118).
18. We recommend that the British Government,
with its European partners, continue to press the Russian authorities
to allow full access to Chechnya and neighbouring territories
for international humanitarian agencies, and that it provide substantial
financial assistance to the agencies for their work in the area
19. We recommend that funding for the military
retraining programme continue after March 2000 (paragraph 121).
20. We recommend that the FCO review the
operation of its commercial staff in Russia and consider whether
their work would benefit from a greater use of secondees from
the private sector, a commercially-friendly Embassy Website and
more overt sponsorship of British investments or projects (paragraph
21. We recommend that the FCO consider establishing
a network of Consulates, concentrating on commerce across Russia
22. We commend the FCO for the good design
of its new Embassy building, the excellent choice of location
and the fact that the work is being completed to schedule, despite
all the difficulties of operating in the Russian bureaucratic
environment (paragraph 130).
23. We recommend that FCO Ministers should
give visits to Russia a higher priority, and that Ministers from
other Departments should also be encouraged by the FCO to visit
Russia (paragraph 132).
24. We recommend that
(a) senior management attention in Moscow,
including the personal attention of the Ambassador, should be
directed towards building upon the improvements already achieved
in the visa-issuing system;
(b) the FCO should examine with the Home
Office means of using information technology to simplify the system,
especially for applicants who live a long distance from British
FCO should continue to monitor the questions asked in visa interviews
to ensure the avoidance of unnecessary probing of an applicant's
private life (paragraph 140).
25. We recommend that the British Council's
grant-in-aid in Russia should be increased in real terms by not
less than 10 per cent by 2002-2003, and that this increase should
not be at the expense of the Council's other programmes (paragraph
26. We recommend continued and intensified
effort by the BBC World Service to market itself in Russia (paragraph
27. We recommend that the BBC World Service
should have the funding necessary to allow it to continue to be
the pre-eminent overseas broadcaster in Russia and that the Comprehensive
Spending Review should recognise this need (paragraph 156).
28. We recommend that the FCO stress to the
BBC that BBC World is an important foreign policy asset, and one
which is vital in a country as important as Russia (paragraph
British educational institutions
29. While we would not wish to see a dilution
of the high standards of the Chevening Scholarship scheme, we
recommend that the FCO assess the feasibility of a second tier
scholarship scheme allowing a much larger group of Russians to
study or work in the United Kingdom for a short period (paragraph
30. We recommend that the FCO discuss with
the Department for Education and Employment, and the devolved
administrations, the support for Russian studies in schools and
universities in the United Kingdom (paragraph 167).
31. We recommend that the FCO re-assess the
mechanisms it uses to benefit from academic expertise on Russia
32. We recommend that the FCO should reconsider
its proposed cut in funding to the Britain-Russia Centre (paragraph
Parliamentary and other contacts
33. We recommend that funding should be made
available for parliamentarians to visit Russia in exactly the
same way as they are for visits to the United States of America
34. We recommend that the FCO should give
all possible assistance to the establishment of a British-Russian
dialogue group (paragraph 173).
35. Our general conclusion and recommendation
is that the FCO must continue and develop its critical engagement
with Russia in the mutual interest of our two European countries