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Russian rabbi says Jackson-Vanik outdated

One of Russia’s two chief rabbis backed his country’s graduation from the Jackson-Vanik amendment. “Jews in Russia enjoy real equal rights,” Rabbi Berel Lazar said at a meeting Wednesday in Moscow with U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.). They issued a joint statement that called the amendment “a downright anachronism.” The amendment, a provision of the Trade Act of 1974, prohibited the United States from maintaining normalized trade relations with certain countries with non-market economies that restrict emigration. The amendment was adopted in part as a response to Soviet restrictions on Jewish emigration.Regarding the current situation of Russian Jews,  Lantos, a Holocaust survivor and chairman of the U.S. House of Representatives’ Foreign Relations committee, said: “I would never believe it was possible if I did not see it with my own eyes. I devoted many years to the struggle for the rights of Soviet Jews. Now I can see that you have this problem solved.”