Another US restrictions law needs to go

Apr 24, 1998 02:00 AM

Limitations on the development of trade and economic relations with Russia, preserved by the US since the cold war, are groundless and, therefore, should be lifted. This opinion was expressed recently by Russian former vice-premier and Minister for Foreign Economic Relations Oleg Davydov.
According to the former vice-premier, the Jackson-Vanik legislative amendment which has not been repealed up to this time, is a glaring example of these restrictions.
"This is not an economic but a political question," the Russian expert said. "It should be settled at the political level, since there are no grounds to preserve this amendment.
"The Jackson-Vanik amendment had been imposed in response to human rights violations in the Soviet Union. Nobody even recalls this now.
On the contrary, we champion the observance of human rights more than other nations. For instance our position on human rights in Latvia is clearer and more open that the U.S. stance."
Davydov was visiting the U.S. in connection with the publication of his book on radical transformation of Russian foreign trade in 1992-1997, which was put out by Fordham University of New York. According to Davydov, there is nothing bad about Russia exporting actively raw materials. "We should be skilful enough to trade in everything our country has," he said. "For instance, Norway trades in raw materials, oil and gas. It lives well, being a rich and developed country. It is a benefit to us that God sent us raw materials."
On the other hand, the ex-minister is convinced that part of processing industries of the Russian economy are quite competitive on international markets. He means not only arms export.
Russia has developed well the aerospace complex, the nuclear power industry and the power industry as such. "We were strong in land reclamation construction and in development of the industry of building machinery," Davydov continued. "We had many positive things, which could be restored now, but we should pursue an appropriate policy and should have willpower to implement it."
As for markets, in the ex-minister's opinion, "it is now important, above all, not to lose what we have." "It is, first of all, our relations with China, India and Iran," Davydov underlined. "The machine and technical sphere is responsible for 80 % in the structure of our trade with them and raw materials for 20 %."
At the same time, in the opinion of the former minister, there is need to establish tougher control over export of the so- called technologies of dual designation, which can be used for civil and military purposes.

Source: not available
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