In the Shadow of Jackson-Vanik Amendment

Will the USA ever give up the “effective” instrument of influence upon Russia?
A group of American lawmakers from the Democratic Party are currently busy with the job that President George W. Bush promised to his “friend Puty-Put”. They are trying to abolish the ill-fated Jackson-Vanik amendment introduced with respect to Russia. Yesterday, a draft resolution developed by a group of democrats was circulated in the US Congress.

As informs, the authors of the initiative were Senator Max Baucus of Montana and member of the House of Representatives from the state of New York, Charles Rangel. Baucus and Rangel say that the developed legislation on liquidation of the above mentioned amendment will be submitted for consideration of both houses of the Congress in the nearest time.

The Jackson-Vanik amendment that linked commercial and economic cooperation between the USSR and the USA with the problem of Jews migration from the Soviet Union, was approved by the US Congress in 1974. Russia insists that the USA must abolish the document as soon as possible, as it considers the amendment to be almost the last relic of the cold war period.

It should be mentioned that not so long ago Max Baucus was at head of the Senate’s Financial Committee and resolutely rejected abolishment of the amendment. At that very period, he insisted that the amendment must be used as an instrument of pressure upon Moscow during Russia-America negotiations on conditions of Russia’s incorporation into the WTO. By the way, this is a rather consolidated position of the US political elite. As the American mass media report, the Congress is ready to abolish the Jackson-Vanik amendment only in case if a new effective instrument of pressure upon the Russian politics appears. And on no other condition. It is highly possible that resignation from the post of the Senate’s Committee allowed Max Baucus to consider the relations between Russia and America differently.

As far as is known, the document developed by Max Baucus and Charles Rangel under support of Congressman Sander Levin (from the state of Michigan) abolishes the Jackson-Vanik amendment with respect to Russia, however, it at the same time obliges the administration to strive for approval of the results of the US-Russian consultations concerning Russia’s incorporation into the WTO be held in the US Congress.

Ahtyam Ahtyrov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Maria Gousseva

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