At the behest of leading U.S. Jewish groups, Congress is set to free Russia from the Jackson-Vanik restrictions, the Soviet-era law aimed at exerting pressure on Russia to loosen its emigration restrictions.
Israel endorsed Russia's graduation out of Jackson-Vanik trade restrictions. "Israel supports Russia's graduation from Jackson-Vanik," a senior Israeli official told JTA this week. "The reasons Russia is included in Jackson Vanik are no longer relevant."
Representatives of the Russian Jewish Congress asked the U.S. Congress to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment. The appeal was addressed to the U.S. ambassador to Russia, John Beyrly, during a meeting Monday in Moscow that took place on the 36th anniversary of the amendment's adoption. The amendment restricts Russian trade with the United States. “The viewpoint of the Jewish community on the problem is that the amendment affects the community negatively now, being a stumbling block in the development of U.S.- Russia relations," Russian Jewish Congress President Yuri Kanner said in a statement.