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Mr. Speaker, we have heard a lot of discouraging news from Russia of late. We are told that the Russian economy is at a dead end, the currency is collapsing, political reform is stalled, and the military is deteriorating to a dangerous point. Moreover, it appears that a good deal of the money that the U.S. Government has extended to Russia through grants or loans has been - at best - ineffective.Nevertheless, I would like to point out one small project where I believe U.S. contributions have been wisely used and appreciated in Russia. I am referring to the in Moscow, named in memory of the distinguished human rights activist of the Soviet era. The museum was established through the efforts of the late Dr. 's wife and fellow human rights activist, Dr. , along with many other friends of freedom. The museum director is .The U.S. Government, through the Agency for International Development, has been providing financial assistance to this worthwhile project. Naturally, the museum management has been seeking domestic funding and would like to be self-sufficient in the future.When I visited the museum in January of this year, Mr. Chairman, I was very impressed by the layout and the thoughtfulness of the exhibits. There are permanent sections dedicated to the Bolshevik Revolution, political prisoners, and "perestroika", as well as temporary exhibits devoted to human rights issues currently facing Russia. The library contains a wide collection of human rights publications, dissident literature, and of course, the works of Dr. himself. The museum has also become a major venue for important conferences on human rights and the humanitarian dimension.This is one area where I believe our foreign assistance has played, and I trust will continue to play, an important role in assisting our friends in Russia to promote and further the cause of rule of law and civil society.
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