Israel backs lifting trade sanctions on Russia

Israel endorsed removing Russia from Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions.

“Israel supports Russia’s graduation from Jackson-Vanik,” said a senior Israeli official. “The reasons Russia is included in Jackson-Vanik are no longer relevant.”

The official made the comment in the wake of a bill introduced in the Senate last week by a bipartisan slate of senators that would find Russia “in full compliance with the freedom of emigration requirements” of the law.

The original amendment, named for the late Sen. Henry Jackson (D-Wash.) and the late Rep. Charles Vanick (D-Ohio) was passed in the early 1970s — over the strident objections of the Nixon administration — at a time when the former Soviet Union was inhibiting Jewish emigration.

Russia wants the 1970s-era restrictions on trade lifted to facilitate its joining the World Trade Organization. — jta