Spanning 50 countries – and including critical relationships with the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), the European Union (EU), and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) – the Department of State and USAID engage with European and Eurasian partners to address the greatest challenges facing our societies today. Europeans are often the first partners to which the United States looks for leadership, support, and cooperation in any major initiative – whether to combat terrorism and proliferation, resolve regional conflicts, mitigate the global economic crisis and restore economic growth, address climate change and energy security, promote global health, or advance American values.
A Peaceful, Free, and United Europe. With Central and Eastern Europeans now core members of NATO and the EU – one of the most significant post-Cold War accomplishments – there is still unfinished business. These countries have stood by the United States in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Balkans; have agreed to partner with the United States on missile defense; and are among the strongest advocates for democracy and human rights worldwide. The United States must sustain and strengthen the relationships by demonstrating continued commitment to these allies, while also encouraging them to make further progress on key internal issues including transparency and the rule of law, combating anti-Semitism and extremism, and improving respect for minority groups.
Democracy in the Caucasus and Europe’s East. The United States will continue to encourage peace, stability and prosperity in the countries of the Caucasus and Europe’s East – Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Moldova, and Belarus. The United States strongly supports the sovereignty and independence of all European states, including those that emerged from the former Soviet Union. The United States supports Georgian territorial integrity and its right to choose its own alliances, as well as Georgia’s democratic and market transformation. The United States will continue a policy of non-recognition of Georgia’s separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and must firmly reject the outdated notion of “spheres of influence” in the greater region. While working to take advantage of historic opportunities for resolution of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan, the United States is promoting rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia and encouraging reform in Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Ukraine, the goal is to bring the country further into the Euro-Atlantic family, strongly support Ukraine’s independence and territorial integrity, consolidate democratic gains, and promote sound economic policies and good governance. This effort relates to the Democracy, Good Governance, and Human Rights High Priority Performance Goal.
NATO and EU Membership in the Balkans. Considerable U.S. engagement in the region has yielded tangible results, but more work remains to secure a peaceful and prosperous future. An important goal is to keep NATO and EU membership prospects credible by bolstering democratic institutions, strengthening rule of law, and promoting economic development - including enhanced trade, investment, and job creation. The United States must keep Serbia focused on its EU path, bolster stability and modernize governance structures in Bosnia, strengthen independent Kosovo, support the completion of Croatia’s EU accession and move Albania along the same path, while working to accelerate Macedonia’s and Montenegro’s integration into NATO and the EU. At the same time, it will be essential to nurture cooperative relationships among the countries of the region, which must include acceptance of Kosovo as a full and equal partner, and as an eventual candidate for Euro-Atlantic integration.
Renewed Relationship with Russia. Another regional issue is a fresh start in relations with Russia in order to cooperate more effectively in areas of common national interest, including reducing nuclear arsenals and securing the stability of Afghanistan, and take advantage of opportunities that contribute to shared progress and mutual prosperity, such as deepening ties on trade and investment. The United States is also working with Russia and European Allies to find a way forward on the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty, which established comprehensive limits on key categories of conventional military equipment in Europe and mandated the destruction of excess weaponry. President Obama has rejected the notion that relations between the United States and Russia are a “zero-sum game,” and believes that the United States and Russia can cooperate more effectively in areas of common national interest and should deepen ties between societies to contribute to future progress and mutual prosperity. As the United States seeks a fresh start in relations, Russia must seek to resolve differences in a candid and constructive way.