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Wednesday, December 26, 2012
It Must Be Christmas: A Rare Example of the Parties Working Together
I do a lot of work with Russia and Ukraine...even real estate work, but mostly scientific and business projects. I work with some senior members of Vladimir Putin's cabinet. It is always interesting to hear their impression of events that happen here.
However, I discovered a Congressional House bill that was passed by House and then the Senate and signed by President Obama this month. The House authored the bill and the Senate made few changes and Obama made no changes. Yes, Veronika, there is a Santa Claus after all. The parties can work together.
It was refered to as the Magnitsky bill. It was named after a Russian lawyer who exposed widespread corruption in Russian business. He was jailed and then mysteriously perished just prior to his release from prison because he was not brought to trial within one year as required by Russian law. The bill mandated that those responsible for the human rights atrocities that were committed against Magnitsky woud be denied access to the USA and they could no longer do business with the USA. The bill was opposed by Russian authorities.
However, the bill effectively repealed the Jackson- Vanek amendment which affected trade with non economic market countries (i.e. Eastern Blcok countries). Jackson-Vanek was signed in 1974 during the height of trade relations difficulties with the former Soviet Union.
The new bill normalizes business relations with Russia, Moldova and other former Eastern block countries so it appears to be a good thing....but more importantly, it indicates that the parties are capable of working together.
It would be truly a Christmas dream for the press to write stories like this once in awhile....