Russian Senators Hope Obama Scraps Cold War Era Amendment

MOSCOW, November 7 (RIA Novosti) – Russian lawmakers hope that US President Barack Obama abolishes the Cold-War era Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which imposes trade restrictions on Russia.


Obama, the Democratic incumbent, was reelected to a second term on Tuesday, defeating Republican challenger Mitt Romney, who drew criticism from the Kremlin for calling Russia the United States’ “Number one geopolitical foe.”


“Washington must fulfill its long-standing promise to abolish the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which is a relic of the Cold War era,” said Sergei Shatirov, Deputy Chairman of the Economic Policy Committee of the Federation Council, Russia’s upper house of parliament.


The step will prove that the United States wants to secure cooperation with Russia, Shatirov said.


“It is high time the notorious Jackson-Vanik Amendment was scrapped. This would be a good start for Barack Obama’s new presidential term,” said Konstantin Dobrynin, a member of the Federation Council’s constitutional legislation committee.


The amendment, named after Congressmen Henry M. Jackson and Charles Vanik, was introduced in 1974 to restrict trade with the Soviet Union and other non-market economies until they allowed free emigration.


The restrictions imposed by Jackson-Vanik have been waived every year since 1989, but the amendment itself remains in place and is a thorn in the side of Russia-U.S. trade relations.


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