Vladimir Ryzhkov, The Moscow Times
A number of opposition leaders — including myself, Boris Nemtsov, Alexei Navalny and others — recently made an appeal to the U.S. Congress. We proposed that Congress repeal the outdated 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment and replace it with a tough Magnitsky act. The proposed law would allow the United States to target sanctions against more than 60 specific Russian politicians and officials who are directly responsible for the death of citizens, for illegally seizing the property of others and for falsifying elections.
Not everyone understood our position on Jackson-Vanik correctly — as if we had somehow become soft on Russia's poor human rights record. They couldn't be more wrong. Our position differs substantially from that of the administration of U.S. President Barack Obama, and even more from the position taken by Kremlin hard-liners.
President-elect Vladimir Putin, in dealing with the West, would like to exclude any discussion of democracy, human rights and corruption. This would get in the way of the ruling elite's main goals: to reap profits from the sale of the country's natural resources and to transfer those funds into safe havens in the West.
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The Moscow Times
Replace Jackson-Vanik With the Magnitsky Act (1)