The founder of Green Cross International, Mikhail Gorbachev, met on Thursday, March 19, 2009 in Washington DC with the ranking Republican Senator of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Richard Lugar, of Indiana (pictured at left).
The two men have met several times before in both Russia and the United States and spent much of their discussion this time focused on issues of nonproliferation, arms control, and disarmament.
Senator Lugar, along with former US Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat from the state of Georgia, together in the early 1990s helped establish the US Cooperative Threat Reduction (CTR) Program, nicknamed the “Nunn-Lugar Program,” which has committed over $6 billion to date to partner with Russia, former Soviet republics, and the G-8 Global Partnership to eliminate nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons and related systems in the former Soviet Union.
President Gorbachev encouraged Senator Lugar and his Senate colleagues to continue supporting the Cooperative Threat Reduction Program and related bilateral and multilateral nonproliferation efforts, and underlined the importance for the CTR Program to continue supporting chemical weapons destruction in Russia. The Security and Sustainability Program of Global Green USA and Green Cross has helped facilitate the safe destruction of over 12,000 tons of chemical weapons in Russia today, and manages public outreach and information offices at many of the Russian chemical weapons sites. Gorbachev and Lugar also discussed the importance of negotiating a bilateral follow-on agreement to the START-1 treaty which expires on December 5, 2009, and to continue mutual and verifiable reductions in strategic nuclear weapons. President Gorbachev also spoke before the weekly Senate Democratic caucus with over forty Democratic senators in attendance, including Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and Senator Carl Levin, Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.
Accompanying President Gorbachev at the Senate meeting was Green Cross International President Alexander Likhotal and Security and Sustainability Program Chairman Paul Walker.