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Memorandum on Continued Implementation of Embassy Agreement With the Soviet Union

October 10, 1990

Presidential Determination No. 91-2

Memorandum for the Secretary of State

Section 151 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989, Public Law 100-204, states that the United States shall withdraw from the Agreement between the Government of the United States and the Government of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Reciprocal Allocation for Use Free of Charge of Plots of Land in Moscow and Washington (signed at Moscow, May 16, 1969) and related agreements, notes, and understandings unless I have made certain specified factual determinations. In signing this provision into law, President Reagan expressed reservations as to the provision's constitutionality, see Statement on Signing H.R. 1777 Into Law, 23 Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents 1547, 1548 (December 22, 1987), and I share his concerns.

Nevertheless, in order to prevent disagreements between the executive and legislative branches of our Government from complicating U.S.-Soviet relations at this vital moment in history, and because the facts permit me to make the determinations that section 151 contemplates, I have decided to avoid the constitutional questions raised by that section by acting consistently with it. In particular, I have determined that:

(A) it is vital to the national security of the United States that the United States not withdraw from the Agreement (and related agreements, notes, and understandings) referred to above;

(B) steps have been and will be taken that will ensure that the new chancery building to be occupied by the United States Embassy in Moscow can be safely and securely used for its intended purposes; and

(C) steps have been and will be taken to eliminate, no later than 2 years after October 1, 1989, the damage to the national security of the United States due to electronic surveillance from Soviet facilities on Mount Alto.

Accordingly, I have determined that the United States will not withdraw from the Agreement (and related agreements, notes, and understandings) referred to above, and I hereby waive section 151(b).

You are authorized and directed to report this determination to the Congress and to publish it in the Federal Register.


GEORGE BUSH

THE WHITE HOUSE,

Washington, October 10, 1990.

George Bush, Memorandum on Continued Implementation of Embassy Agreement With the Soviet Union Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/323821

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