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    JACKSON-VANIK AMENDMENT IS MOSTLY AN AMERICAN PROBLEM

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    ANKARA, February 6 (RIA Novosti) - Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov believes the Jackson-Vanik amendment is not Russia's problem.

    "We believe it is more of a US problem. All reasons for its introduction have been eliminated long time ago. Even US officials recognize it," Mr. Lavrov told journalists at a press conference after his talks with US State Secretary Condoleezza Rice in Ankara.

    According to the Russian minister, the amendment is still in force only because certain political forces in the United States "are still attempting to tie the amendment to various issues of bilateral relations that do not have anything to do with emigration from the former Soviet Union."

    The amendment was named after its authors - Senator Henry M. Jackson and member of the House of Representatives Charles A. Vanik. They were both Democrats. The amendment was introduced in 1974 in order to "punish" the Soviet Union because it would not allow free emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.

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