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U.S. May Lift Russia Trade Restrictions This Year - Envoy

RIA Novosti

21:43 25/01/2012 MOSCOW, January 25 (RIA Novosti) - The United States may scrap Cold-War era trade restrictions on Russia in the very near future, U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul said on Wednesday.

The United States has denied normal trade status with the Soviet Union and then Russia since the passage of the so-called Jackson-Vanik agreement in 1974 due to Soviet restrictions on Jewish emigration.

“We will do that not in a year or two but this year,” he said in a live show on the Ekho Moskvy Moscow-based radio station, speaking in Russian.

Lifting the Jackson-Vanik amendment is “a high priority” for the United States because Russia will soon officially join the WTO and “if we don’t lift the Jackson-Vanik amendment, that will hurt our interests.”

“We’ll work very seriously on that,” McFaul said.

The restrictions imposed by Jackson-Vanik are often waived, but remain in place and are a thorn in the side of Russia-U.S. trade relations.

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