PRESIDENT Clinton and Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev signed agreements Feb. 14 to triple United States aid to the former Soviet republic and encourage development of its vast oil reserves.
The announcement of the increase in US aid came two months after Mr. Nazarbayev's government voted to dismantle its 1,400 nuclear warheads and become a nuclear-free state.
US aid to Kazakhstan will increase from $91 million last year to more than $311 million this year. In addition, the president reaffirmed an earlier commitment to allocate $85 million toward the cost of dismantling the nuclear weapons Kazakhstan inherited when the Soviet Union broke up in December 1991.
Nazarbayev, whose country has long borders with both Russia and China, said the security guarantees provided by the US and the prospect of his country one day belonging to NATO ``strengthen our confidence in the future.''
Mr. Clinton said there was no ``quid pro quo'' linking increased US aid to preferences for US companies interested in developing Kazakhstan's vast natural resources. Trade unions file NAFTA complaints
TWO United States trade unions filed their first formal complaints Feb. 14 under the North American Free Trade Agreement charging US corporations with violating workers' rights.
The Teamsters Union filed a complaint against Honeywell Inc, a maker of computers and industrial control systems; the United Electrical Workers filed one against General Electric, a diversified maker of consumer and industrial products. In a joint release, the unions accused the companies of firing Mexican workers for leading union organizing drives within days after Congress approved legislation implementing NAFTA late last year. Company officials could not immediately be reached for comment. Packwood asks for delay
SENATOR Bob Packwood (R) of Oregon is still trying to keep his diaries from the Senate Ethics Committee.
He asked a federal appeals court on Jan. 14 to withhold them until it rules on the legality of the committee's subpoena.
At the same time, Senator Packwood asked the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to expedite its own ruling on the subpoena. Under orders issued by US District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson, the committee could get the diaries on Feb. 22. Just five days ago, Jackson rejected Packwood's bid to keep the diaries private until the appeals court acts.
Jacob Stein, Packwood's attorney, said the Feb. 22 timetable ``gives insufficient time to obtain a ruling on appeal.''