President George W. Bush pledges to promote abolition of the discriminatory Jackson-Vanick amendment in Russia's respect. The Administration will join hands on the issue with the US Congress, the US President said to a news conference he was addressing jointly with Russia's President Vladimir Putin. Russia has done much to improve immigration arrangements and protect ethnic and religious minorities--in particular, the Jewish community. The situation graphically differs from the past in that respect, and President Putin vouches to strengthen and expand those freedom gains, said President Bush. Igor Ivanov, Russia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Colin Powell, US Secretary of State, confirmed the welcome developments with exchanged messages. Russia is willing to promote free markets, domination of the law, and strong independent mass media, stressed Mr. Bush. Made for political reasons in 1974 on the US law on commerce, the notorious amendment hampers bilateral trade as it demands Russia's best-favoured nation status confirmed every year.
As November 4 approaches (on this day, Russia and Belarus are to sign union programs), disputes between supporters and opponents of the integration become increasingly heated