Parliamentary working group on reconsideration of Baker-Shevardnadze agreement to prepare report for president

The working group of the parliament's upper chamber - the Federation Council set up to reconsider the Baker-Shevardnadze agreement on the Russian and American maritime delimitation line in the Bering and Chuckchee seas will prepare a special report for the president on this issue, said a group member, Chairman of the Federation Council's Committee on the North Alexander Nazarov on Thursday. A meeting of the working group with participation of representatives of the Russian Foreign Ministry and the State Fishing Committee as well as the US ambassador to Russia Alexander Vershbow will be held in the framework of the chamber's international committee meeting on Friday, September 20th, he said. Besides, today Russia's Ministry for Economic Development and Trade also appointed its official representative to the working group, the senator pointed out. This representative will make official calculations of the economic damage inflicted on Russia by concluding this "agreement", or, as it is also called, Shevardnadze's "betrayal".

Now there is no doubt that it was Shevardnadze who, while being the USSR Minister for Foreign Affairs, betrayed his country's national interests. The agreement was signed in 1990 by the US Secretary of State James Baker and the then USSR Minister for Foreign Affairs Eduard Shevardnadze. As a result the USA received a 200-mile area of Russia's maritime space.

Now the experts' estimations of the economic damage, inflicted on Russia by signing the document, are different, said representatives of the Federation Council's Committee on the North to RIA Novosti. The State Fishing Committee estimates this damage at $200mln per year, while Russia's Foreign Ministry believes that the total damage inflicted on Russia since the signing of the agreement now totals 1,4 billion dollars.

At the end of September-at the beginning of October a member-group from the Federation Council is expected to visit Washington and meet their US counterparts to discuss a possibility to reconsider this agreement.

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