The Amendment That Came In From The Cold War

(This piece originally appeared on Russia Beyond the Headlines)

U.S. President Barack Obama can feel pretty good these days: Osama bin Laden is dead; growing public opposition to GOP fiscal policies strengthens the president’s hand in his dealings with congressional Republicans; the worst expectations for the natural disasters caused by the Mississippi River flooding have so far not materialized.  His re-election prospects look shinier with every passing day.

But let’s not assume that the president sleeps on a bed of roses.  Obama has problems of his own, and one of them is that he’s facing a lawsuit.  The lawsuit was filed on Apr. 18 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by two Americans: Edward Lozansky, former Soviet dissident and currently president of American University in Moscow, and Anthony Salvia, a renowned expert on U.S.-Russia relations and formerly head of the Moscow bureau of Radio Liberty.  Lozansky and Salvia are asking the court to force President Obama to use his executive power to graduate Russia from a provision of Title IV of the Trade Act of 1974, commonly known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment.

The notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment (named after its sponsors, Sen. Henry Jackson (D-WA) and Congressman Charles Vanik (D-OH)) is one of the most recognizable ghosts of the Cold War.  The Cold War is long over, but the amendment keeps haunting the house of U.S.-Russia relations.  It was adopted by the U.S. Congress in 1974 to deny the Soviet Union, a non-market economy at the time, normal trade relations with the United States as a punishment for restricting Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union.  In 1994 – three years after the disintegration of the Soviet Union – then-President Bill Clinton announced that as far as the emigration was concerned, Russia was no more in violation with U.S. trade law.  Ever since, Russia has been granted normal trade relations through annual presidential waivers.   In 2002, the U.S. Department of Commerce officially recognized Russia as a market economy.  Both pillars of Jackson-Vanik have collapsed.

Case closed?  Not so fast.  The U.S. Congress rejected requests from both President Clinton and President George W. Bush to graduate Russia from Jackson-Vanik and grant it normal trade relations.  Congress felt it handy to keep the amendment on the books: to press Russia into buying more American poultry and meat.  (The power of U.S. “chicken lobby” must not be underestimated: 38 states, with their 76 senators, have a stake in these sales.)  Besides, lacking any real leverage in influencing Russia’s policies, U.S. lawmakers wanted to have a stick to punish Moscow’s “misbehavior:” in 2003, Sen. Grassley (R-IA) explicitly linked Jackson-Vanik to Russia’s opposition to the Iraq war.

Experts disagree on the extent to which the amendment affects U.S.-Russia economic and trade relations.  Some believe that because of the annual presidential waivers, the de facto influence of the amendment is negligible and that other factors are to be blamed for the poor state of these relations.  Others argue, as does Lozansky in his court filings, that the very need for an annual presidential review – potentially subject to congressional interference – creates an air of uncertainty that is damaging the long-term prospects of the bilateral economic cooperation.  

Yet everyone seems to agree that Jackson-Vanik remains a powerful irritant for the whole body of U.S.-Russia relations, especially on the Russian side, with Moscow loudly arguing that the annual review process is discriminatory and humiliating.  Even in the United States, there are not many fans of Jackson-Vanik outside Congress.  Some Jewish organizations, for example, have repeatedly expressed their uneasiness with the fact that the amendment, which they consider a landmark accomplishment in the area of human rights, is being used to sell more American chickens. 

On a number of occasions, the Obama administration, too, promised to get rid of Jackson-Vanik.  The latest such promise came from Vice President Joe Biden – incidentally, an active supporter of the amendment in the past — during his recent visit to Moscow.  The consensus, however, has been that the problem lies in Congress: with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, there is virtually no chance that the amendment would be repealed before Russia joins the World Trade Organization.  The situation seemed completely at a stalemate.

The potential solution came, as they say, from a place no one has expected.  Addressing the World Russia Forum in Washington, DC in April, Richard Perle – an assistant secretary of defense in the Reagan administration and not a friend of Russia, to say the very least — dropped a bombshell.  He claimed that Jackson-Vanik didn’t apply to Russia anymore.  Perle knew what he was talking about: as the top advisor to Sen. Jackson, Perle wrote the amendment.  Perle pointed out that contrary to popular belief, the amendment, as originally drafted in 1974, didn’t mention Soviet Jews or the Soviet Union itself (to say nothing about Russia).  All it said was that the normal trade relations with the United States must be denied to non-market economies that restrict emigration.  Because now Russia is market economy and imposes no restriction on emigration the amendment is null and void as far as Russia is concerned.  In Perle’s opinion, President Obama doesn’t even need go to Congress; all he has to do is to issue a corresponding executive order. 

The lawsuit that Lozansky and Salvia filed less than three weeks after Perle’s surprising revelation put this idea into legal motion.

Lozansky is quick to add, with a smile, that this lawsuit is a “friendly” one.  Its real purpose is not to “punish” President Obama, but, rather, give him a helping hand.  Obama can now use the cover of the lawsuit to graduate Russia from Jackson-Vanik without spending his preciously limited political capital on squabbling with Congress.  And the more parties – businesses, non-profit organizations and private individuals – that join the lawsuit, the more likely its positive outcome. 

If you are interested in supporting this cause or need additional information please visit www.russiahouse.org/wrf.php and fill out the registration form.

There is one aspect of the Lozansky-Salvia lawsuit that must not go unnoticed.  It is perhaps for the first time that two private individuals – that is, people not working for U.S. government or belonging to established public organizations – have undertaken steps towards bettering U.S.-Russia relations.  Should their lawsuit succeed, it may well signal that the much talked about, yet still non-existing, pro-Russian lobby in the United States has finally emerged.

About Eugene Ivanov

Eugene Ivanov is a PMI-certified Innovation Management Consultant who helps organizations increase the efficiency of their internal and external innovation programs.
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27 Responses to The Amendment That Came In From The Cold War

  1. Thanks again Eugene.
    As you probably know, along with James Jatras and Darren Spinck – Anthony Salvia is involved with an org. offering a different view of Ukrainian issues:
    http://aminuk.org/
    http://www.aminuk.org/docs/White_Paper_ENG.pdf
    IMO, Mr. Salvia is a bit too charitable in describing two individuals involved with the English language mass media punditry of Ukraine.
    http://aminuk.org/index.php?idmenu=12&idsubmenu=228&language=en
    I’m not saying that Salvia should go out of his way to be pointedly nasty. (Note that the two individuals he refers to have at times been noticeably sharp in their replies to some people who they take issue with.) At the same time, I lean towards the notion that players engaged in chippy play should expect and get similar treatment up to a point.
    The AMINUK org. is an example of some good material getting downplayed in an English language mass media that has preferred a certain kind of perspective of Ukraine, which is in the minority on matters related to Russian issues. This bias is to be found within the body politic and academia of North America as well.
    Like it or not, there’s an in your face element involved with effectively getting a point across in the US. This thought relates to putting together the best possible advocacy. If the other side is polite in expressing themselves follow suit. To underscore a position, it’s not always so inappropriate to return a chippy comment in a similar but intelligent fashion.
    Best,
    Mike

  2. So there’s no misunderstanding, Messrs. Jatras, Spinck and Salvia have a good product that brings much needed improvement to the understanding of Ukraine. Kudos to them.
    I very respectfully take some issue with the killing with kindness approach. Not looking for a fight and being respectful shouldn’t mean taking unnecessary crap.
    Down memory lane, I like this reply:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118072849014821804.html

  3. Eugene says:

    Thanks Mike,
    Sorry to admit missing all these links. I haven’t met Scalia in person (but have met Jatras), and no matter what their specific views on the issues are, I’m grateful to them — and other folks like you — for their ability to keep track on this completely Byzantine chaos that today’s Ukrainian politics is.
    Best,
    Eugene

  4. Mark says:

    Both Jackson-Vanik and resistance to Russia’s joining the WTO are old favourites in some quarters precisely because of their humiliation value, and the ego boost it gives some to know that no matter how big Russia is or that her bills are paid while the USA is a debtor nation, they can still frustrate her and prevent her reaching her goals.
    I imagine those same people would like to parlay the dropping of Jackson-Vanik and support for Russia’a WTO accession into a promise from Putin that he won’t run in 2012. However, continuous humiliation by the USA has largely lost its sting, and Russia is unlikely to offer anything in exchange.

  5. Eugene says:

    Thank Mark,
    You nailed it! First, it’s humiliation factor, to which Russia itself contributes profoundly by its too emotional reaction to largely irrelevant amendment.
    Second, repealing the amendment is something that the US has to do WITHOUT any reciprocity because its the mess the US created and needs to deal with alone. But this is also something that many folks here simply can’t digest. How is that? Do something for Russia and get nothing in return!
    Again, I admire Lozansky and Salvia: what they are doing is a comfortable, low-cost solution to a problem that should please (almost) everybody.
    Best,
    Eugene

  6. Mark says:

    You’re absolutely right that some see it as “doing something for Russia and getting nothing in return”, but in fact Jackson-Vanik was specifically structured against Russia in the first place. The reasoning at the time might have been sound or at least justifiable – although the USA would never stand for another nation trifling with its immigration policy – but far worse regimes have emerged since without comment. As I’ve often pointed out, the same goes for membership in the WTO: Myanmar is a member in good standing, for the love of God. China owns the entire U.S. manufacturing industry, and cracking into the U.S. business structure ever deeper through cyberespionage is a stated goal of the five-year plan – yet China is a member of the WTO and a favoured trading partner.
    There’s just something about Russia that America hates far deeper than it hates anyone else on earth. Maybe it’s because Russians are white and look European, and it’s unfathomable to the American psyche that white people wouldn’t go along with America’s plan for the world.

  7. Eugene says:

    Mark,
    I agree with you that there is something “special” about Russia in the US, and I share your last paragraph’s explanation.
    Yet, please notice that there are always very real people behind anti-Russian campaigns/laws etc. In the case of JV, it was Jewish lobby that made the whole story; in the case of “Magnitsky list”, it’s William Browder, the CEO of Hermitage, that lobbied it on Capitol Hill. I may have blisters on my tongue, but I repeat: Russia must learn to protect/advance its interests here.
    Best,
    Eugene

  8. Eugene, Mark & Co.,
    As stated, Jackson-Vanik (JV) was PC enough not to specify Jews as the lone group. At the same time, there appears to have been an understanding in both countries what JV concentrated on.
    On that last thought, JV as implemented, nurtured the scenario where Jewish identity was in some instances stretched as a means to leave the USSR. For the purpose of getting out of the USSR, the stated desire to leave for economic reasons wasn’t as good a basis as claiming discrimination on the basis of a Jewish background. There was an eXile piece that touched on how some trumped up a Jewish identity. It also helped if one had what can be termed as an especially valuable trade.
    A friend of a friend of mine, who is a Jewish conservative leaning attorney with the INS agreed on these points, adding that his peers and himself frequently sensed an embellishment factor, in the interview process on why someone wanted out.
    This observation doesn’t deny that problems existed. Ethically, these problems shouldn’t get belittled. At the same time, there was also some exaggeration.
    On a somewhat related note, recall what the character played by Al Pacino said in the movie Scarface, as a basis for seeking entry into the US. That scene reminded me a bit of what the aforementioned INS attorney said to me.
    This observation doesn’t deny that problems existed. Ethically, these difficulties shouldn’t get belittled. At the same time, there was also some exaggeration.
    The aforementioned INS attorney gave credence to the view that the implemented policy on Soviet Jewry served to further encourage anti-Jewish sentiment in the USSR. Anti-Jewish propaganda had a theme of how Jews (as a group) had it comparatively well in the USSR, while having an easier time getting out.
    In the last years of the USSR, I sensed the Cold War coming to an end when the Aeroflot office in Rockefeller Center no longer had an active police booth in front of it, with Orthodox-Jewish patrons in its offices. A few years later, that Aeroflot office’s neighbor, the Yugoslav airline office JAT was closed down with an overbearing US State Department letter glued on the window, saying that JAT’s closure had to do with the claim (not untrue) of the then Yugoslav government (consisting of Serbia and Montenegro at the time) providing support for Serbs in Bosnia. Never mind the Saudi and other support given to Bosnian Muslim nationalists. For that matter, the Croats in Bosnia were able to find support from abroad as well.
    Seeing how we’re on the subjects of JV and lobbying, I feel compelled to address a perception that periodically comes up. In some circles, there’s an image of Jews from the former USSR being generally anti-Russian. That thought is a bit misleading when consideration is given to several factors. I suspect there’s a pretty high rate of people of “mixed” (Russian and Jewish backgrounds) and many examples of Jews who aren’t anti-Russian.
    I speak from personal experience.😉
    Best,
    Mike

  9. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Thanks Mike,
    I share many of personal experiences of yours. I do know ethnic Russians who came to US claiming being Jewish. And I do know Jewish programmers coming here to make big bucs and claiming being persucuted in Russia as Jews. One of those told me about the crap he was delivering to a INS interviewing officer: about KGB braking in his apartment during the night, etc. The lady listened to him politely — obviously knowing that he was telling crap — and then granted him an asylum.
    It’s not my experienve though that many Jews from the fUSSR are patricularly anti-Russian. In fact, many of my “Russian” friends here are Jewish. True, they have very different recollection of Russia they left, especially those from earlier years of “Jewish emigration”, who experienced a lot of troubles to leave. It’s also true that some of my friends don’t share my passion for contemporary Russia (and don’t read my blog:). But they are smart enough — and so am I — to have long agreed “to disagree.”
    Best,
    Eugene

  10. As you know Eugene, being of Russian origin doesn’t equate with a collectively cookie cutter outlook.
    There has been a complaint of sorts (especially) among some Zionist zealots (JDL types) that many of the former Soviet Jews aren’t Zionist enough. Without meaning to get too ideological, that perception might’ve to do with the “Soviet” upbringing. Then again, these same zealots will freak out at the Israelis who barbecue pork chops on the Sabbath in Tel Aviv and other parts of Israel.
    Between good numbers of White Russians and more Soviet reared Russians, I periodically experience a bit of a divide on a number of issues. There’re also a category that’s somewhere in between.
    When it comes to Ukrainian lobbying in North America, the Westies (if you may – from western portions of Ukraine) have greatly influenced what’s understood as a Ukrainian view. This point relates to what motivated Graham Stack to write (in Russia Profile) that many would be surprised to know that polling shows most Ukrainians to not be so negative towards Russia. Following up on that point, I’ve run into my share of ethnic Ukrainians east of Galicia, who generally share a good portion of my views, while suggesting a tyranny of the minority – in terms of how the Ukrainian position is generally presented in the West. In the same article, Mr. Stack said that Russian negativity of Yushchenko era Ukraine was the result of a biased Russian media. He didn’t bother to stress what’s behind the bias factor evident in the West. Perhaps he felt somewhat restricted as someone connected to the media establishment with that lean – whereas going after Russian media seems to be comparatively more encouraged at certain outlets. BTW, it’s not as if Russian media needed to be biased to influence a negative impression of Yushchenko era Ukraine. That negativity was evident in Ukraine at the time of Stack’s article – an overall good read:
    http://grahamstack.wordpress.com/2009/06/05/would-the-real-ukraine-please-stand-up/
    Keep in mind that a number of folks with roots from contemporary Ukraine are of non-Ukrainian ethnic backgrounds (Polish, Jewish, Russian and dare I say Rusyn), as well as Ukrainians from the more eastern parts of Ukraine – who’ve a different outlook than the pro-OUN/UPA crowd – that include people who see Yushchenko as a political wus – while not opposing his core stances on Russian related issues.
    Salut!
    Mike

  11. Mark says:

    Quite so. The USA is the King of Lobbying, and except for Israel, there is nobody better on the planet at advancing its own interests, as Eugene correctly points out. There’s no excuse for why Russia sucks so badly at it – you can’t let little things like Stalin and war stop you. America was in the same war – eventually – but today America is a hero, and Russia is a villain. America has sponsored a couple of largely unpopular wars since, but remains largely popular and even has its defenders in the countries it has attacked. Take a lesson, Russia. Whip up a Department of Lobbying, and start selling Russia as a big cuddly bear that is everyone’s friend. You’ll need a department head: I nominate Anna Chapman.

  12. Quetzalcoatl says:

    I do think the humiliation factor is at work in cases involving Opel and Saab. In the former, Opel was only saved (for now) after a massive government bailout after Russian automakers were tried to buy it. For Saab it is probably too late because they would not sell to Vladimir Antonov after they accused him of criminality. Neither of these companies are worth anything to GM or the US auto market, but they were to Russian auto makers (and Swedish & German workers too). In the meantime, China and India easily bought GM’s companies. Why China and India and not Russia? They are obviously the biggest threats to US manufacturers.

  13. Mark,
    I recall a Russia Blog piece sharing my view that AC has simultaneous plusses and minusses, which should be properly gauged, on a matter like improving Russia’s image.
    For qualitative purposes, some others need to be better utilized. Cronyism and plain poor judgment appear evident.
    On ethnic lobbying, having considerable wealth and numbers isn’t beneficial when it’s not properly utilized. The Albanian community in the US doesn’t seem to be particularly wealthy and numerous. Yet, they’ve been quite effective on account of how they’ve coordinated their efforts.
    Russia will benefit from using responsible pro-Russian elements, who’ve a very good understanding of America/Americans. Promoting Russia unfriendly elements over quality pro-Russian ones has a counter-productive aspect.
    Best,
    Mike

  14. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Mark, Mike and Quetzalcoatl-
    Thanks much for your great insight. Just a few short comments in response:
    @Mark: I know your passion for Anya Chapman:) — and I don’t blame you. This brings me to the idea I’ve been trying to promote for quite a while among United Russia folks: send Alina Kabaeva on the road. Would you agree that the image of UR will be better if Alina starts travelling in the US replacing, say, Sergei Markov?
    @Quetzalcoatl: “Why China and India and not Russia?” Well, your question seems to be quite rhetoric. China and, especially, India actively lobby their interests in the US. India is actually becoming very good at it. Now, Severstal is operating in the US with quite a success, and, needless to say, is actively using professional lobbyists.
    @Mike: You’re raising a great number of complex topics, each deserving special consideration. Let me comment on only one of those. Yes, the ideological divide within Russian Diaspora is real. Yet, I don’t think that this should prevent interested people from trying to organize a working pro-Russian lobby. To me, it’s not a question of whether everyone should agree with everyone. The question is whether we can bring together enough people to get something done. I’m not claiming that the Lozansky-Salvia lawsuit is a done deal. Yet, it’s remarkable how few people you actually need to start addressing serious problems in a smart way.
    Best,
    Eugene

  15. Mark says:

    Ha, ha!!! I didn’t think anyone would take me seriously on the Anna Chapman thing! While she is indeed a pretty package, I haven’t seen anything to contradict my impression that she is a self-marketing attention junkie on the Sarah Palin scale. I only mentioned Anna Chapman to remind of the NYT article that came out just after her arrest, which pointed out that the activities of the “spy ring” had much more in common with those of lobbyists than spies.
    Alina Kabaeva would be a big hit, and would probably cause a few early cardiac events. But being a rhythmic gymnast since the age of 4 is hardly an appropriate background for a killer lobbyist, and she has no discernible worldview, not to mention business leaders would only pretend to take her seriously until they got into her pants.
    There’s no particular reason a new “Lobbying Czar” should be a woman (in fact, that would presumably be a Tsarina); but if it were, a better choice might be Elena Kolchina, or perhaps Alyona Doletskaya. The former, while…ummm….not particularly attractive, has the advantage of being Director of a bank owned by current Russian political heartthrob (in the USA, anyway) Mikhail Prokhorov, while the latter is glamorous and sophisticated, and knows the language of big money although she likely doesn’t know much about investment. I bet she’d be a quick study, though.

  16. While having a humorous and off beat side that’s within reason, one can sometimes wonder about what’s being said at times.
    A smiling wink at the quip on SM.
    I agree that a diversity of views within a given advocacy can be an added plus over a comparatively limited approach.
    Subjectivity aside, there’s a technical basis to shuffle the lineup a bit. This thought steps on some toes.
    Cheers!
    Mike

  17. Eugene Ivanov says:

    Mark,
    Perhaps, we’re talking about slightly different things. I’m not suggesting Kabaeva as a bona fide lobbyist: she clearly has no qualification for that. What I’m talking about is giving Russia — in this particular case, UR — a “human face.” Send her to the US with a standard set of slides and talking points, but I guess that the overall impression will be better than after delivery by a usual jerk from the General Council.
    For that matter, send former wrestling great, Alexander Karelin. He is (was?) fantastically popular in the US. Who here knows that he belongs to UR?
    Again, I’m talking about purely PR campiagn, which, as it happens, can be at times hugely successful.
    Best,
    Eugene

  18. At the same time, effectively communicated and promoted presentations that address a number of issues, which often get slanted in a direction that’s negatively unfair to Russia. Some of them include:
    – What’s said of past and present matters concerning Russia and it’s “near abroad.”
    – A more detailed comparative overview of questionable media, academic and political stances taken in Russia and Western countries. A prime recent example concerns Luke Harding denied entry into Russia received far more publicity than what Srdja Trifkovic (among other law abiding citizens from Western democracies) experienced with the Canadian government. If anything, the Russian government had a better reason to initially deny entry to Harding (who was later granted entry after an administrative procedure was taken care of) than the heavy-handed overly political and dubious “big brother” like position of the Canadian government. “Russian government propaganda” (sic) RT didn’t make the connection on this particular.
    In some circles, constructive criticism doesn’t appear to be encouraged on account of it upsetting an existing status quo – topped by those not so concerned with or running counter to seeking a better image of Russia. The last point concerns some “joint” Russia-Western based projects.
    Regarding someone earlier mentioned at this thread and the earnestly sort spirit of improving the situation, a critical overview shouldn’t be discouraged. With that advocacy in mind, I give an example from awhile back.
    Concerning high profile “Russian spin doctors,” I recall one of them providing commentary for a News World International (NWI) feature on Ukraine, shortly after Yushchenko’s presidential inauguration (now defunct, NWI was a Canadian Broadcasting Company television affiliate). When asked why the Orange government was counterproductive, Sergei Markov said that its Russia unfriendly elements served to provoke a nationalist backlash in Russia. From a Russian vantage point, this wasn’t good public relations, in addition to not offering the most accurate of thoughts on the subject. Markov’s emphasis on Russia conjures up the image of a Russian not concerned with how Ukraine feels and provides fodder for the faulty notion of Russia being collectively ripe with overly aggressive nationalists. The more accurate answer to the NWI question would note that the newly inaugurated (at the time) Orange government’s not so Russia friendly members are an anathema to many in Ukraine, who don’t view Russia with hostility. This in turn could create instability within Ukraine, which in the long run wouldn’t benefit anyone. In any event, present day Ukraine has distanced itself from that Orange presidential period, with Russia and the West now taking a seemingly less aggressive approach on that former Soviet republic.
    I know I’ve repeated some thoughts in this set of comments. I do so on the basis of seeing if anything new is offered as a reply.
    Best,
    Mike

  19. Eugene says:

    Mike,
    Thanks for the markov story. Yeah, he’s one of my favorites. At the latest Lozansky Forum in DC (March 2011), he accused Americans in being “racists” (yes, racists) toward Russians.
    Best,
    Eugene

  20. Eugene,
    His look reminds me a bit of Boris Badanov, from a 1960s era American cartoon series.
    I recall Pavolvsky not putting together the best of criticisms towards the Brit foreign secretary Miliband.
    On the Kabaeva and Chapman references (which I understand are stated with limits), it’s counter-productive to overrate the extent of good looks. Without naming names, the other side of the debate has some aesthetically challenged folks.
    Media plays a strong role in improving things. There’re obvious slants out there, with some being more equal than others in certain prime situations.
    One other soap box bit of mine has to do with RT doing a half hour show on global anti-Jewish sentiment (a valid topic), while not doing likewise on anti-Russian biases. IMO, this comes across as an English language mass media influence at that station, which seems to wrestle between being something different, while to some extent providing the same old, same old.
    Shifting gears, I just got an email that Mladic was arrested. I laud RT for having people like Trifkovic, Malic and Johnstone give input on such matter.
    Best,
    Mike

  21. Poppy says:

    EUgene,
    just to say Hi and I pretty much enjoyed this “export of jews” vs “import of chicken” stuff.
    I personally would rather stick to leave it all as is.
    Russians are just laughing at it anyway, but the Dept of State would keep some kind of imaginable ‘stick’ – you know, just for the case to say ‘Booooo!’

  22. Eugene says:

    Hi Poppy,
    Thanks for stopping by. The rumor-of-the-day is that Congress will “swap” JV for Magnitsky bill, meaning that JV will be repealed but the Magnitsky list will go in force. The best of the two worlds, so to speak: we remove the obvious nonsense, but still have a stick.
    Best,
    Eugene

  23. Poppy says:

    Eugene,
    Let me be frank with you – me and my colleagues aren’t a great believers in the DoS ability to do something meaningful.
    On the other hand, if they’re going to muzzle Magnitsky’s stuff for another 50 years, that’ll do nicely.
    Old bullshit MUST be replaced by the new one, that’s what’s called progress.
    The process of change keeps people busy too.
    Nice to see you alive and kicking high,
    Yours,
    Poppy

  24. Eugene says:

    Thanks Poppy,
    Please add me to yours and your colleagues’ list of great non-believers in the DoS abilities to do something meaningful…
    Best,
    Eugene

  25. Regarding Croat and Albanian lobbying in the US, as acknowledged by a late American government official:
    http://grayfalcon.blogspot.com/2011/06/lawrence-eagleburger-and-murder-of.html
    In Russia’s case, there’s a conglomerate of sorts, comprised of different ethnic lobbying groups, promoting a similar negativity.
    Once again, it’s high time to put some other sources in the PR/media game – something that Russian based/Russian government involved orgs. can definitely improve upon.

  26. Since then, Russia has granted through normal trade relations annual presidential waivers. In the U.S. Department of Commerce Russia officially recognized as a market economy.

  27. Some Jewish organizations, have repeatedly expressed concern on the amendment.

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