Former Soviet Union

U.S. Rule of Law Assistance Has Had Limited Impact and Sustainability Gao ID: GAO-01-740T May 17, 2001

This testimony discusses the U.S. government's rule of law assistance efforts in the new independent states of the former Soviet Union. GAO found that these efforts have had limited impact so far, and results may not be sustainable in many cases. U.S. agencies have had some success in introducing innovative legal concepts and practices in these countries. However, the U.S. assistance has not often had a major, long-term impact on the evolution of the rule of law in these countries. In some cases, countries have not widely adopted the new concepts and practices that the United States has advocated. In other cases, continuation or expansion of the innovations depends on further funding from the U.S. or other donors. In fact, the rule of law appears to have actually deteriorated in recent years in several countries, including Russia and Ukraine, according to the data used to measure the results of U.S. development assistance in the region and a host of U.S. government and foreign officials. This testimony summarizes an April 2001 report (GAO-01-354).

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