US congressmen propose that Bill Clinton impose economic sanctions against Russia in order to make it release US citizen Edmond Pope, detained by the Russian intelligent services this April on suspicion of espionage. On Tuesday, a correspondent resolution was passed at a sitting of the US House of Representatives, and submitted to the Senate. The US President is recommended to give up any further concessions regarding Russia's debt burden and to hamper Russia's admission to the World Trade Organization. The congressmen call for Russian President Vladimir Putin to provide necessary medical treatment for Edmond Pope, who is suffering a serious form of cancer. US State Department Spokesman Richard Boucher told journalists that the administration agreed with the spirit of the resolution, but did not consider that the cessation of American aid for Russia would help advance in the case of Pope. The American aid for Russia is based on US national interests, and the country's national security issues are the priority in the relations with Russia. The adopted resolution is not binding for the American leader.
The situation about US citizen Edmond Pope who was detained in Russia and charged with espionage can't affect economic relationships between Russia and the US. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Ilya Klebanov told this to reporters after a meeting with the US ambassador yesterday. According to Klebanov, this problem was not discussed at the meeting. The main issues discussed during the talks were export control and other technical questions, the deputy prime minister said. Commenting on an appeal of the US House of Representatives to President Clinton to impose economic sanctions on Russia in connection with Pope's arrest, Klebanov pointed out that "there are no grounds for such sanctions." Sanctions could apply to firms that were caught violating the law and agreements on non-proliferation of nuclear technologies. "The situation when we were unable to control our companies that have these technologies ended long ago," he emphasized. The deputy prime minister pointed out that "a situation about detention of a person who tried to illegally take these technologies out (of the country) has never led to worsening of relationships between the two countries." He categorically denied reports that technologies usable in both civil and military spheres continue leaking from Russia - RBC reports.
The British press has recently reported that Russia was going to conduct a nuclear test either on the borders with Ukraine or in the Black Sea.