FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Mark B. Levin/NCSJ
U.S. GRADUATES RUSSIA, MOLDOVA FROM JACKSON-VANIK; NCSJ ATTENDS OVAL OFFICE SIGNING
WASHINGTON, D.C., December 14, 2012 - This afternoon, President Barack Obama signed into law H.R. 6156, "The Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012." The law "graduates" Russia and Moldova from the Jackson-Vanik Amendment and establishes permanent normal trade relations (PNTR) with the United States.
NCSJ Executive Director Mark B. Levin joined key Members of Congress and others in the Oval Office for the signing.
After the ceremony, Levin welcomed the law's enactment. "Russia's record isn't perfect," he said, "but this law recognizes important progress on religious freedom and emigration, and it's the right thing to do."
In the 1970s, NCSJ helped to draft and fought for passage of Jackson-Vanik, an amendment to the Trade Act of 1974 that penalizes countries that restrict emigration.
The amendment's adoption in 1974 was a critical tool in pressuring the Soviet Union to allow Jews to escape Communist oppression by emigrating, primarily to Israel and the United States.
NCSJ supported graduation because Russia and Moldova have a twenty-year record of allowing unrestricted emigration abroad.
Both countries have also expanded opportunities for Jews who choose to stay. Jewish individuals and communities can practice Judaism and participate in Jewish culture without reservation.