U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union

U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union
Updated March 1, 2007
Curt Tarnoff
Specialist in Foreign Affairs
Foreign Affairs, Defense, and Trade Division

U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union
Since 1992, the United States has provided more than $28 billion in assistance
to the 12 states of the former Soviet Union (FSU). It continues to provide nearly $2
billion annually. This report describes the broad framework of U.S. assistance
programs and policies in the region and then focuses on the FREEDOM Support Act
(FSA) account under the foreign operations budget which, encompassing all U.S.
objectives in the region, has often been the means by which Congress has expressed
its views and sought to influence policy.
Three objectives have been most prominent in the U.S. assistance program to
the region — facilitating the transition from authoritarianism to democracy,
promoting the introduction and growth of free market economies, and fostering
security by controlling the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
and expertise. More recently, a fourth objective, very much encompassing the other
three, has emerged — supporting the war on terror. A fifth objective of U.S.
assistance, humanitarian relief, was mostly applied in the early 1990s in response to
countries experiencing food shortages.
Under the State Department’s Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and
Eurasia and encompassing all U.S. policy objectives, the FSA account has been a
special interest of Congress since its creation in 1992. About $11 billion of the $28
billion in total U.S. aid provided between 1992 and 2005 has come from the FSA
account. Under the terms of a continuing resolution (H.R. 5631/P.L. 109-289, as
amended by H.J.Res 20 on February 15, 2007) the FSA account receives $452
million in FY2007 appropriations. Country allocations have not yet been determined.
The Administration has requested $351.6 million for the FSA account in FY2008,
about $100 million less than the previous year.
Perhaps the most notable feature of the FY2008 Administration foreign
operations request is the proposed 22% cut in aid. With democracy challenged in
Russia and making headway in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan, as well as
important U.S. interests in Central Asia, cuts might appear to indicate a low U.S.
priority for the region.
The recent rise of democracy in Ukraine and Georgia and its evident decline in
Russia have highlighted the role and possible need for U.S. democratization
assistance. However, absolute levels of democracy aid to Russia in the FSA account
have not increased since 1999 when it reached a level of $64 million; it is roughly
$43 million in FY2006 and, under the FY2008 request, would fall to about $26
million. Aid to the FSU has always come with conditions. The majority of specific
restrictions have been aimed at Russia. As a result, in most years as much as 60%
of planned U.S. assistance to the federal Russian government has been withheld.
Currently, the most difficult conditionality issue arises with respect to human rights
and democracy in Central Asia. This report will be updated as events warrant.

Background ......................................................1
Objectives and Programs........................................1
Democracy and Economic Reform............................1
Humanitarian .............................................2
Security .................................................2
Anti-Terrorism ............................................3
Funding Accounts.............................................3
FSA Account Current Program...............................4
Millennium Challenge Account (MCA)........................5
Legislation .......................................................5
FY2007 Appropriations.........................................5
Issues ...........................................................7
Cuts in FSA Account...........................................7
Cuts in the Russia Program..................................8
Support for Democratization.....................................9
Conditionality ...............................................10
List of Figures
Figure 1. Total U.S. Assistance to FSU: FY1995.......................2
Figure 2. Total U.S. Assistance to FSU: FY2005........................2
Figure 3. U.S. Assistance to the FSU: All Spigots 1992-2005.............3
Figure 4. FSA Account by Sector....................................4
Figure 5. FSA Account and Russia Aid
($ millions)..................................................8
List of Tables
FSA Account Country Allocations....................................6

U.S. Assistance to the Former Soviet Union
Since 1992, the United States has provided more than $28 billion in assistance
to the 12 states of the former Soviet Union (FSU). It continues to provide nearly $2
billion annually. Over the years, various aspects of the program have drawn strong
congressional interest and sponsorship; some country programs have been the subject
of controversy and debate. The 110th Congress is likely to scrutinize these assistance
programs as it seeks to address the range of U.S. foreign policy, strategic, and
economic interests in the region. This report describes the broad framework of U.S.
assistance programs and policies in the former Soviet Union and then focuses on the
foreign operations FREEDOM Support Act (FSA) account which, encompassing all
U.S. objectives in the region, has often been the means by which Congress has
expressed its views and sought to influence policy.
Objectives and Programs
With the demise of the Soviet Union and emergence of a dozen new
independent states at the end of 1991, the United States launched assistance programs
aimed at accomplishing varied foreign policy objectives. Three objectives have been
most prominent — facilitating the transition from authoritarianism to democracy,
promoting the introduction and growth of free market economies, and fostering
security by controlling the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons
and expertise. A fourth objective of U.S. assistance, humanitarian relief, was
especially significant at discrete points in the 1990s when several countries
experienced critical food shortages. More recently, a fifth objective, very much
encompassing the other four, has emerged — supporting the war on terror.
Democracy and Economic Reform. Efforts to boost the objectives of
democratization and economic growth have been supported chiefly through
assistance programs authorized by the FREEDOM Support Act (FSA) of 1992 (P.L.
102-511). The assistance, usually in the form of expert advice and associated
materiel support or grants to indigenous organizations, has sought to affect a range
of sectors.
Among the democratic initiatives are technical assistance to political parties,
parliaments, and independent media and grants to encourage the development of civil
society non-governmental organizations (NGOs). Exchanges, most now funded
under State Department appropriations, contribute to democratization by introducing
FSU leaders and citizens to U.S. institutions and way of life. In FY2005, 14.4% of
total FSU U.S. assistance supported democratization.

Economic and social reform programs include efforts to assist private sector
development — support for privatization of state-owned business; drafting of new
tax, securities, and commercial law; distribution of credit to micro and small
enterprise; equity investments in fledglingFigure 1. Total U.S.
business; and provision of expertise to farmers Assistance to FSU: FY1995

and businessmen. Assistance has also
addressed related health, environment, energy,
and housing concerns, including efforts to
combat infectious disease, promote policySecurity 23.7%Humanitarian 23.6%
reforms, and introduce innovations such as a
mortgage lending system. About 14.4% of
total aid in FY2005 was devoted to economicDemocracy 8.7%Other 0.4%
and social development; in FY1995, the
proportion was 43.5%.
Econ&Soc 43.5%
Humanitarian. Humanitarian programs
include the PL480 food aid program (roughly
80% of humanitarian aid) and airlifts of food
and medical supplies. The latter was of special
Figure 2. Total U.S.importance in the first years of the transition,
Assistance to FSU: FY2005and the former was an especially significant part
of the total aid program during discrete periods
— 1993 and 1999 — when Russian farmers
Security 66.7%could not meet their country’s foodrequirements and the United States wished to
bolster President Yeltsin’s position. About
2.8% of total aid in FY2005 was employed to
Other 1.8%fill humanitarian needs, down from 23.6% in
Econ & Social Dev 14.4%FY1995.
Humanitarian 2.8%Democracy 14.4%Security.1 Security programs mostly
focus on non-proliferation concerns. They have
been implemented mainly under the so-called
“Nunn-Lugar” Cooperative Threat Reduction
(CTR) Program legislation (P.L.102-228), much
of the language of which is duplicated in the FREEDOM Support Act. Several
government departments have been actively engaged in implementing security
programs. Broadly, non-proliferation programs conducted by the Department of
Defense (DOD) have included insuring the security of transport and storage and the
elimination of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and materials. The
Department of Energy’s Material Protection, Control, and Accounting (MPC&A)
program sponsors numerous efforts to protect nuclear sites and thwart smuggling of
material. Both the State Department and DOE have managed programs controlling
the spread of weapons expertise by encouraging scientists to remain in the FSU.
State also supports export control and border security assistance. More than 40% of
1 For detailed discussion of FSU security programs see CRS Report RL31957, Non-
Proliferation and Threat Reduction Assistance: U.S. Programs in the Former Soviet Union,
by Amy Woolf.

total U.S. assistance to the FSU since 1992 has focused on security. Almost two-
thirds of these funds were directed at Russia. In recent years, the proportion of aid
directed at security concerns has risen substantially — in FY2005, it represented
nearly 67% of total aid compared to 23.7% in FY1995.
Anti-Terrorism. While there are discrete anti-terror programs aimed at the
region — such as border security and anti-terrorism training — all other assistance
objectives can be viewed as supporting this one. The securing of nuclear and other
weapons has always been as much to keep them out of the hands of stateless terrorist
groups as other nations. The achievement of economic growth and democracy are
seen as helpful conditions to discourage the sale of weapons and technology and the
eruption of discontent and instability that might offer havens to terrorist operations.
The emergency supplemental that followed September 11, 2001, targeted for special
funding Central Asian countries which provided bases for U.S. troops fighting in
Afghanistan and are themselves viewed as threatened by radical Muslim
Figure 3. U.S. Assistance to the FSU: All Spigots 1992-2005

92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 0 1 2 3 4 5
Other appropriations
USDA appropriations
DOE appropriations
DOD appropriations
FSA account
Funding Accounts
Multiple sources of U.S. funding (“spigots”) make up assistance to the region.
Most security-related aid has been funded through Department of Defense (DOD)
appropriations, but major related programs have also been funded under Department
of Energy (DOE) and Foreign Operations appropriations, in the latter case primarily
the FSA, Foreign Military Financing, and State Department NADR (Non-
proliferation, Anti-terrorism, Demining) accounts. DOD, DOE, and Foreign

Operations appropriations respectively account for $5.2 billion, $3.6 billion, and $2.4
billion of total U.S. security aid to the FSU since 1992.
Humanitarian programs are predominately composed of the PL480 food aid
program funded from Department of Agriculture (USDA) appropriations. Airlifts of
humanitarian supplies were funded out of both State and DOD appropriations.
Roughly two dozen U.S. government agencies and department offices have
implemented democratization, economic, and social programs in the FSU. Among
these are the Peace Corps volunteer program, the State Department’s exchange
programs, and Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Labor, and Treasury
Department activities. Many of these programs were originally supported largely or
entirely by the “Independent States of the Former Soviet Union” account
(FREEDOM Support Act, FSA account) funded annually in the Foreign Operations
appropriations bill, but as that account has decreased in size, some agencies have
gradually been required to provide their own-agency appropriated funds (included in
the “other” category in the figure above). Only the FSA account has supported the
whole range of U.S. policy objectives at one time or another.
Figure 4. FSA Account by Sector

FY 1999FY 2005
FY 1994
Human 9.8%Human 3.1%
Security 17.6%Democ 25.3%Human 18.4%Democ 16.2%Security 19.2%Democ 31.9%
Other 1.2%Security 4.8%Other 1.2%Other 5.6%
Econ&Soc 46.1%Econ&Soc 59.5%Econ&Soc 40.2%
FSA Account Current Program. Under the control of the State
Department’s Coordinator of U.S. Assistance to Europe and Eurasia, the FSA
account has been a special interest of Congress since its creation in 1992. About $11
billion of the $28 billion in total U.S. aid provided between 1992 and 2005 has come
from the Foreign Operations-funded FSA account. Unlike DOE or DOD security
programs, funding for which has trended upward in the past dozen years, the FSA
account has fluctuated considerably. Since 2002, however, it has been falling and,
at $452 million in FY2007, is at its lowest level since 1993. The decline may in part
be explained by the view that some countries have progressed sufficiently in their
economic and political development that they no longer require U.S. assistance (see
issues below).
The composition of the account has also changed significantly over 15 years.
In the early 1990s, economic and social reform was the largest component — as
much as two thirds of the account in some years. In 2005 it was down to only 40%
of the account, but still the largest component at $251 million. Hovering near the

15% mark during the early and mid-1990s, democratization efforts rose to make up
25% by late in the decade. In 2005, at nearly $200 million, it represented about one
third of the account. Security aid was only 5% of the account in the first part of the
program, but rose to a high of 25% in 2000 as a result of the so-called Expanded
Threat Reduction Initiative that increased the State Department role in non-
proliferation. As the State Department has moved non-proliferation program funding
to the NADR and other accounts, security as a component of the FSA account has
declined somewhat. It was 19% in 2004 at $120 million.
Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). When the MCA was established
in 2004, a new funding resource became available to some states of the former Soviet
Union. Implemented by the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC), the MCA
provides significant assistance to countries that meet certain standards of
accountability and commitment to economic and democratic reform. Currently, four
FSU states — Georgia, Armenia, Moldova, and Ukraine — meet the criteria that
make them candidates for MCA funds. On September 12, 2005, an agreement, or
compact, was signed with Georgia, providing $295.3 million over five years for the
purposes of improving transport, energy, and other infrastructure and to stimulate
enterprise development, especially in agriculture. A five-year $235.7 million
compact with Armenia was approved by the MCC board on December 19, 2005. Its
purpose is reduction of rural poverty through rehabilitation of rural roads and
improved irrigation. Moldova and Ukraine became candidate countries in November
2006 and must now develop acceptable program proposals in order to gain financial
Three FSU countries — Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, and Ukraine — have “threshold”
status, meaning, in the case of Moldova and Ukraine, they had not at the time of
selection or, as in the case of Kyrgyzstan, currently have not met qualifications for
MCA Compact funding and need to improve their performance in select eligibility
criteria in order to do so. Such countries can receive limited funds to help them meet
the gaps in their performance. In December 2006, the MCC signed anti-corruption
assistance packages with both Ukraine (two-year, $45 million) and Moldova ($24.7
million). Both will be managed by USAID and the Department of Justice.
FY2007 Appropriations
FY2007 economic aid funding for the FSU is provided under the terms of a
continuing appropriations resolution (H.R. 5631/P.L. 109-289 Division B, as
amended by H.J.Res. 20 on February 15, 1007) which provides $452 million in the
FSA account, $11 million more than the Administration request. Country allocations
have not yet been determined.
The FY2007 Defense appropriations bill H.R. 5631 (P.L. 109-289, H.Rept. 109-
676) provided $372 million for DOD CTR programs, the same as the Administration

FY2008 Appropriations
In February 2007, the Administration requested $351.6 million for the FSA
account in FY2008, a $100 million, or 22% decrease, from the FY2007 level.
The FY2008 Administration request for DOD Cooperative Threat Reduction
Programs is $348 million.
Several concerns have been raised
in recent years regarding U.S.FSA Account Country Allocations
assistance for democracy and(in $ millions)
economic reform. (For non-FY08
proliferation aid issues see footnote 1).CountryFY05FY06FY07 (req)
Armenia74.469.0** 35.0
Cuts in FSA Account Azerbaijan37.634.2** 18.0
Belarus6.9*11.5** 10.0
The FY2008 Administration FSAGeorgia86.067.8 ** 50.5
account request under the foreignKazakhstan26.724.8**14.4
operations appropriations continues,Kyrgyzstan 35.129.0**23.8
even accelerates, an effort to cut aid toMoldova17.417.8**13.3
the region — the account would be cutRussia85.0*80.2**50.0
by 22% from the previous year regular
budget to $351 million, continuing aTajikistan24.523.8**26.9
decline from levels which in the pastTurkmenistan6.55.0**5.5

10 years averaged $725 million. WithUkraine78.6*82.2**71.0

democracy challenged in Russia, andUzbekistan31.517.8**8.5
ongoing reform efforts in Georgia,Regional45.245.9**24.7
Ukraine, Moldova, and Kyrgyzstan, asTotal app.555.5*508.9452.0351.6
well as important U.S. interests in* Not shown here is an additional $60 million for
Central Asia, some observers haveUkraine, $5 million for Belarus, and $5 million for
questioned the decline in aid to theChechnya appropriated in the FY2005 emergencysupplemental (P.L. 109-13).
region.**Allocations under the CR not yet determined.
Source: Department of State

The Administration’s proposed
FY2008 cuts from FY2006 levels
(FY2007 country levels have not been
identified yet, following February passage of the final continuing resolution for that
year) would fall most heavily on six countries — Armenia (49%), Azerbaijan (47%),
Georgia (26%), Kazakhstan (42%), Russia (38%), and Uzbekistan (52%).
Cuts in the Russia Program. Each year since FY2001, aid to Russia has
been decreased. Under the FY2008 request, FSA assistance would again be cut to
$50 million from a level of $80 million in FY2006. These cuts are meant to lead to
a total “phase-out” of the Russia FSA account aid program in the next several years.
There are no current plans to eliminate the DOD or DOE non-proliferation programs
to Russia.

Figure 5. FSA Account and Russia Aid

($ millions)
1993 1995 1997 19 99 2001 20 03 2005 20 07
1992 1994 1996 1998 2000 2002 2004 2006 2008req
FSA AccountRussia
FS> 235 417 21> 846 641 62 2 771 847 836 808 95 8 755 585 626 509 45 2 352
Ru > 150 192 12> 344 135 92 132 179 186 164 16 2 144 96 90 80 50
Although the FSA program was not established with any firm deadline in mind,
most observers assumed that the program was “transitional” and would not run as
long as programs in developing countries. A State Department strategy in 1994
suggested the Russia program would end around 1998. In 1997, the Partnership for
Freedom initiative, which chiefly sought to reverse a sharp decline in Russia aid,
made explicit a plan to wind down large-scale technical assistance to the whole FSU
in 2002, but with smaller grassroots cooperation programs continuing beyond then
to about 2006. In 2003, the Bush Administration decided to phase out Russia
programs over several years, beginning with economic sector programs by 2006.
The questions these or any proposed cuts raise is whether they are desirable or
justified in terms of what has been accomplished or remains to be achieved in each
country. In the case of Russia, the Administration argued that economic reform
programs were not required now that Russia has achieved strong economic growth.
The Administration claim that democracy activities would be maintained, however,
appears not to hold up to scrutiny. In FY2002 and FY2003, Russia FSA-funded
democracy programs amounted to $63 and $61 million respectively. However, in
subsequent years, funding declined to $33 million in FY2004, $43 million in
FY2005, and $43 million in FY2006. The Administration request for FY2008
contains $26 million for democracy programs in Russia.
Support for Democratization
Although from the beginning declared a major U.S. policy objective in the
region, democracy has never risen above 15% of total all-spigots spending in any
year. It is, however, now a significant part of FSA account spending, rising from 15-

18% in most of the 1990s to 24% by 1998, 34% in 2003, and 30% in 2006.

However, as overall account levels have fallen, democracy funding actually declined
significantly between 2003 and 2006 — in the FSA account, from $254 million to

$152 million. The FY2008 request would provide about $128 million for
democratization, 36% of the total account.
The recent rise of democracy in Ukraine and Georgia and its evident decline in
Russia have highlighted the role and possible need for U.S. democratization
assistance. The latter case, in particular, has elicited repeated calls for increased aid
by expert observers during the last six years as Putin has chipped away at democratic
institutions and practices. Congress indicated its concern by passing the Russian
Democracy Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-246) which called for increased aid and
emphasized the role of NGOs and independent media in democratization.
One aspect in the creeping diminution of democratic practices in Russia is the
attacks on aid recipients in civil society and especially NGOs that promote
democracy. In mid-2005, a U.S.-supported human rights organization found itself
accused of evading taxes, even though its U.S. foreign aid income is supposed to be
tax free. Similar problems occurred in the early 1990s until they were resolved
diplomatically by formal agreement with the U.S. embassy. This time, however, they
are combined with attacks from the head of the Federal Security Service on other
NGOs — as well as the Peace Corps which left Russia several years ago amid similar
attacks — and a statement by President Putin that foreign funding of political
activities would not be permitted. Legislation to control Russian NGOs and severely
restricting the ability of foreign organizations to assist them was approved by the
Duma in December 2005 and signed into law by President Putin. It took effect on
April 13, 2006. Analysts suggest that Russian authorities fear a Ukraine-like
situation which has been blamed on U.S. and other donor-funded NGOs.2
It is not possible to say to what degree U.S. assistance is responsible for the
positive developments in Georgia, Ukraine, and Kyrgyzstan.3 Although the United
States had previously pumped $807 million in FSA account aid to Georgia, $2.1
billion to Ukraine, and $408 million to Kyrgyzstan (including $138 million, $453
million, and $94 million respectively in democracy aid), these countries remained
corrupt, economically stagnant, and authoritarian up to the time of their democratic
revolutions. U.S. programs, however, may have planted seeds of change, especially
in support for civil society and political party training, both of which emphasize ways
in which advocacy groups can make their voices heard.
All U.S. democratization support carries the danger of charges of U.S.
interference in a country’s internal affairs. Implementors have been careful,
especially in providing aid to political parties, to be evenhanded and open to all
comers. But, if the government is authoritarian, then democracy aid may be viewed

2 “Putin Says Foreigners Use Private Groups to Meddle in Russia,” New York Times,
January 26, 2006; “Secretary Criticizes Russia’s NGO Law,” Washington Post, December

8, 2005; “Putin Vows to End Foreign Political Funding,” Financial Times, July 21, 2005;

“Russia Hounds Human Rights Group That Gets U.S. Help,” New York Times, Sept. 18,


3 Some suggest that the U.S. role was critical to events in Kyrgyzstan. “U.S. Helped To
Prepare the Way for Kyrgyzstan’s Uprising,” New York Times, Mar. 30, 2005.

as inherently subversive. Accordingly, NGOs throughout Central Asia are reportedly
being harassed, some U.S. officials believe, at the instigation of Russia.4
Aid to the FSU has always come with conditions. Both the FREEDOM Support
Act and annual foreign operations bills contain general and specific conditions that
all the states of the FSU are expected to meet in order to receive assistance.
Conditions left to the broad discretion of the President include whether these
countries are undertaking economic and political reform, are following international
standards of human rights, are adhering to international treaties, and are denying
support to terrorists. Other conditions established by Congress have been more firm
and specific. Among these is Section 907 of the FSA which for a decade prevented,
with some exceptions, policy reform and other direct assistance to the government
of Azerbaijan unless it took steps to cease blockades and other uses of forces against
Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh. Beginning in 2002 and in each year following, the
President has waived this prohibition.
The majority of specific restrictions have been aimed at Russia. These include
directions that aid be cut or withheld if Russia implemented a law discriminating
against religious minorities, if its troops remained in the Baltics, if it did not provide
NGO access to Chechnya, or if it did not cooperate with war crime investigations in
Chechnya. Since FY1996, direct assistance to the government of Russia has hinged
on its continuing sale of nuclear reactor technology to Iran. As a result, in most years
as much as 60% of planned U.S. assistance to the federal Russian government has
been cut.
The new Millennium Challenge Account compacts also come with their own
conditionality. To become eligible for the program, countries must meet certain
standards of behavior related to governance, social development, and economic
freedom. While Armenia, for example, appears to have met those standards
sufficient to warrant a compact agreement, it also has been warned that it must
maintain them or risk losing aid. Even as its $236 million award was announced in
December 2005, a letter from the MCC to Armenia’s President Kocharian suggested
that steps be taken to correct problems, particularly with regard to charges of
electoral fraud and media restrictions in the November 2005 constitutional
referendum. 5
Currently, the most difficult conditionality issue arises with respect to human
rights in Central Asia. The authoritarian governments of the so-called “stans” were
not seen as fertile territory for U.S. assistance in the 1990s. Consequently, most
received minimal aid. However, after 9/11, these states became potential targets for
Muslim radicalism as well as front lines in the war on terrorism. In FY2002, they
received an additional $174 million in FSA account funds from anti-terrorism

4 “Pro-Democracy Groups are Harassed in Central Asia,” New York Times, December 4,


5 “U.S. Approves Grant to Armenia, but Urges Greater Political Rights,” New York Times,
December 20, 2005.

supplemental appropriations. Although their strategic value has increased, their poor
record in supporting human rights has raised concerns reflected in succeeding
appropriations bills. In the FY2006 Foreign Operations appropriations, for example,
aid to the central government of Uzbekistan was conditioned on its making
“substantial and continuing” progress in human rights and democratization. Aid to
the government of Kazakhstan similarly depended on its improvements in protection
of human rights, although the condition could be waived on national security
grounds; Secretary of State Rice most recently employed the waiver in May 2006.
Although the House version of the FY2007 foreign operations bill, H.R. 5522, did
not contain the Uzbekistan or Kazakhstan language, foreign assistance appropriators
reportedly expect the Administration to respect FY2006 terms and conditions under
the FY2007 continuing resolution.
In 2004, the Secretary of State was unable to make a determination allowing
Uzbek government aid to go forward, and $18 million planned for the central
government was withheld. At the same time, DOD waived a human rights
requirement under the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction legislation to allow
non-proliferation aid to Uzbekistan.6 Following a violent Uzbek government
response to unarmed demonstrators in mid-May 2005 and critical comments by the
United States, relations between the United States and Uzbekistan have been
strained. Although the United States had been negotiating for long-term use of the
base there, the Administration was forced to consider whether a military relationship
was viable in a situation of authoritarian rule and civil unrest. The decision appears
to have been made for it when, on July 31, 2005, the Uzbek government formally
evicted U.S. forces from the base, effective within six months, and, reportedly, has
stopped cooperating with the United States on counterterrorism activities. In 2005
and 2006, the Secretary of State was again unable to make the determination that
would allow some kinds of aid to the government of Uzbekistan to go forward.7
Increasingly, non-democratic countries in the region have placed constraints on
civil society and other non-governmental organizations that U.S. assistance targets.
In June 2005, the Peace Corps suspended the program in Uzbekistan, because the
Uzbek government did not renew the visas of volunteers. In September 2005, the
FSA account-funded organization IREX, which had been working in the country
since 1994, was ordered by a Uzbek court to stop its programs — exchanges, internet
access, and community development — for six months. And, in March 2006, the
U.S. human rights group Freedom House was ordered to end operations. Expecting
a similar action, the Eurasia Foundation announced it would close its office.8

6 Although it is not unusual for different types (and objectives) of aid to be subject to
different legislative conditions and to be treated differently, the Washington Post reports the
unusual recent circumstance of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Myers,
criticizing the State Department’s aid cut-off while praising Uzbekistan’s cooperation with
DOD. “Barriers to Freedom,” Washington Post, Apr. 10, 2005.
7 Department of State Budget Justification for Foreign Operations, FY2007, p. 524; “Uzbeks
Stop Working with U.S. Against Terrorism,” Washington Post, Sept. 30, 2005.
8 “Uzbekistan Jails Opposition Leader and Rights Worker,” Washington Post, March 7,
2006. For more detail, see CRS Report RS22295, Uzbekistan’s Closure of the Airbase at

Counterpart International’s office was closed by the government in May 2006. In
addition to U.S. organizations, thousands of local NGOs have been forced to disband,
raising the question of how the United States can implement democracy programs in
Uzbekistan without appropriate partners.

8 (...continued)
Karshi-Khanabad: Context and Implications, by Jim Nichol.