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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Gets U.S. Waiver

WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Bill Clinton has decided to grant an automatic waiver for Russia from a Cold War-era law linking liberal trade benefits to emigration policies, officials said Wednesday.


The move is intended as a goodwill gesture as Clinton and Russian President Boris Yeltsin prepare for a two-day summit in Washington next week.


Yeltsin has repeatedly complained that post-Soviet Russia deserves better treatment.


"It gets us to a time when we're a bit more on a normal footing in our relationship," one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


Clinton's action will remove the need for an annual waiver from a law known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment that for two decades tied trade privileges to emigration, particularly for Jews.


As Moscow has relaxed its emigration policies in recent years, the United States has routinely granted exemptions to Russia allowing it to sell its goods here under the lowest possible tariffs.


Clinton has decided to sign a presidential determination making the waiver process automatic, officials said.


Major Jewish organizations have endorsed the move and there is no significant opposition in Congress, the officials said.