Russia against replacement of Jackson-Vanik amendment with Magnitsky bill

American lawmakers' plans to replace the Jackson-Vanik amendments by the Magnitsky bill would contradict the logic of Russian-American relations over recent years, said Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov.

"The first thing we resent is the replacement of the anti-Soviet Jackson-Vanik amendment by anti-Russian legislation. This would go against the entire logic of Russian-American relations for the past few years," he told the media on Wednesday while commenting at Interfax request on American senators' plans to link the abolition of this amendment to the Magnitsky bill.

Committee Chairman Max Baucus earlier said that the bill could be combined with the Magnitsky bill. The authors of the bill also proposed introducing other conditions for Russia gaining this status. For instance, the U.S. trade representative would inform the Congress each year about how strictly Russia is observing its obligations as a member of the World Trade Organization.

The bill also carries a provision saying than Russia should approve the action plan for greater protection of intellectual property rights than the protection required within the WTO. "Russia will fully observe its obligations under the agreement to join the WTO - neither more, nor less than that, "Ryabkov said in this connection. "If American lawmakers want to pin additional obligations on the bill that would make Russia a normal and permanent trade partner, I understand these obligations will have to be abided by the U.S. executive authorities, by the U.S. administration, not by the Russian Federation," the diplomat said.

"The agreements signed cannot be arbitrarily changed at the will of the American lawmakers," he said.

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