There is no official antisemitism in Russia, the Jewish Communities Federation of Russia says in its 2nd congress resolution. The congress heartily approved official opposition to whatever forms of racism and encroachments on ethnic and religious rights, and offered support to an appeal by Berl Lazar, Russia's Chief Rabbi, to the US President and Congress to abolish the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, which discriminates against Russian imports to the USA. The conferees expressed alarm with blatant manifestations of grassroot antisemitism, and called Russian authorities to step up law-enforcement action against xenophobia--in particular, antisemitism. They appealed for tolerance to all religions and confessions, ethnic associations and regional friendly societies. The federation came out in support of the Russian Army's anti-terror combat in Chechnya and of Russian policies against political extremism. It called for concerted anti-terror action clean of double standards. The congress qualified the last two years' federation activities as satisfactory, and pointed out a skyrocketing number of Jewish communities in Russia. It determined to gather at the negotiation table all interested organisations--in particular, the leagues of Jews of Russian extraction--for an united Russian Jewish organisation. 145 Jewish communities from all parts of Russia were represented at the congress, which finished today.
Russian small missile ships - the Grad Sviyazhsk and the Great Ustyug - set off for a mission to the Mediterranean Sea