The Soviet Union played an important role in encouraging the emergence of a Conference on Security and Cooperation in Asia as a prominent issue in the Asia-Pacific region. It remains to be seen whether Russia or the Commonwealth of Independent States will return to the concept with the same commitment. The tumultuous events of the last several years, particularly the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, continuing economic strains between the United States and its security partners in East Asia, and new arms reduction offers have increased both the value of and the opportunity for forming some kind of East Asian security regime. One of the declared purposes of the visit to Asia by President Bush in January 1992 was to reassure East Asians of the US commitment to maintain its security role in the region.