Tags: America | Gives | Russia | Fortune | Oil | and | Fish

America Gives Russia a Fortune in Oil and Fish

Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003 12:00 AM

WASHINGTON – Behind the backs of the American people, the State Department has been working for more than a quarter of a century to give the Russians U.S. territory that could make the nation more energy-independent. Furthermore, it could someday make the difference between life and death if we are ever attacked by North Korea or China.

“Americans have to pay $1.50 to $2.00 when [that price] ought to be down to about a dollar,” a gallon at the gas pump, State Department Watch’s Carl Olson told NewsMax.com.

Moreover, he says, “there’s a lot of fish involved,” and the Russians want even more of that than the U.S. has already agreed to hand them. At issue are eight islands in the waters between the U.S. and Russia. Wrangell, Herald, Bennett Jeannette, and Henrietta are in the Arctic Ocean. Copper Island, Sea Lion Rock and Sea Otter Rock are in the Bering Sea.

Secretary of State Henry Kissinger made the first move on this in 1977. The executive agreement was signed in Washington June 1, 1990 during the last of a long parade of “summit” meetings during the long Cold War.

The 1990 summit included a state dinner at the White House and all the trappings of pomp and ceremony that usually accompanied such events. The toasts to good will were always played up. The bad news ultimately reached to the public under the radar. That is exactly what happened in this case.

The agreement was signed during the June 1990 summit by Secretary of State James Baker and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze. The two governments agreed to abide by the boundaries of the document’s terms as of June 15, 1990.

The U.S. Senate later approved the treaty, explained State Department Watch, with only a small cadre of oppostion senators, led by Jesse Helms, R-N.C., paying any attention.

So does that make it a fait accompli? Not exactly. Sometimes it takes this country’s adversaries to save us from ourselves (albeit unwittingly).

The Soviets and then the successor Russian government have let 13 years go by without ratifying the treaty on their side. Thus it has not officially become a done deal. In fact, Olson told NewsMax that the Russian Duma (the lower house of legislature) came close to impeaching Shevardnadze over this.

The hangup? The Russians have demanded even more seabeds with their fishing rights yielding annually 150,000 tons of fish.

But “the Russians are getting all this oil [estimated in the billions of barrels] at no cost,” Olson told NewsMax. “Why?”

As long as the treaty is unratified by both parties, it is a mere executive agreement that does not supersede any law. If the treaty were to be fully ratified, on the other hand, under our Constitution, it would become the supreme law of the land.

NewsMax.com has tried, so far with limited success, to determine what legal recourse is available. Capitol Hill sources appear stumped as to whether, when the other party has failed to ratify, the U.S. Senate can unratify a treaty that it had earlier approved.

However, legal analysts say the House also has a voice in this. Although only the Senate can ratify a treaty, the House and the Senate must approve of disposing of U.S. property. And the House has not weighed in on the giveaway.

But there is more to the history of this “truly bizarre document," according to Olson. It seems “the Soviet Union invaded the United States.” It happened before the onset of the Cold War when the bloodthirsty Soviet Union was in in its infancy.

Some American explorers had bought most of Wrangell Island, “and had some reindeer herding and some other operations up there.”

In 1924, the Soviets sent a gunship called Red October to Wrangell Island and invaded it. They captured the American settlers and hauled them off to Siberia. The people were ransomed. One or two of them died in the process, Olson adds. A baby was born in the midst of this.

But in the 1920s, the U.S. government had not recognized the outlaw Soviet regime. So then Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes said we couldn’t do anything about it because there was no one to whom we could protest.

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WASHINGTON - Behind the backs of the American people, the State Department has been working for more than a quarter of a century to give the Russians U.S. territory that could make the nation more energy-independent. Furthermore, it could someday make the difference between...
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Tuesday, 17 Jun 2003 12:00 AM
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