The well-known US Republican Senator, Richard Lugar, who is chairman of the Senate's international affairs committee, submitted for the Senate's consideration a draft law on cancelling the restrictive Jackson-Vanik trade amendment with respect to Russia. Lugar also demands that Russia be given the most favoured nation status in trade with the USA, the status which most countries of the world have.
Lugar stresses in its statement circulated in Washington that it is senseless to further use the 1974 amendment.
Over the recent years, similar amendments were cancelled with respect to other countries of Eastern Europe and former USSR. The same should be done with respect to Russia, the Senator pointed out. According to him, the cancellation of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and giving Russia the most favoured nation status in trade will improve the investment climate and will make it possible to further develop economic relations between the USA and Russia.
The administration of George Bush supports the draft law presented by Lugar. A similar document was submitted in 2002, the statement points out.
An explosion of household gas occurred in a nine-storeyed apartment building in the city of Shakhty, the Rostov region of Russia. The blast destroyed two storeys of the building