WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Thursday formally granted "permanent normal trade relations" to Russia, following congressional action that cleared the way for him to remove a Cold War-era vestige on trade but also raised tensions with Moscow.
"The Russian Federation has been found to be in full compliance with the freedom of emigration requirement" under the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment, Obama said in a proclamation.
That provision tied favorable U.S. tariffs rates to the rights of Jews in the former Soviet Union to emigrate freely.
The House of Representatives and the Senate overwhelmingly passed legislation allowing Obama to grant permanent normal trade relations, or PNTR, to Russia in order to ensure that U.S. companies share the full benefits of Russia's recent entry in the World Trade Organization.
But Congress tied the PNTR bill to legislation to punish Russian human rights violators by barring them from visiting the United States and freezing any assets they have in U.S. banks.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday harshly criticized the new human rights measure.
"This is very bad. This, of course, poisons our relationship," Putin told his annual news conference. (Reporting By Doug Palmer; Editing by Vicki Allen)
Trending On Reuters
Tens of thousands of people braved heavy rain and lined the streets of Singapore on Sunday to catch a last glimpse of founding PM Lee Kuan Yew as his funeral procession wound through the country he helped build. Full Article
- Diplomats and U.N. staff flee Yemen as Houthis target Aden
- Pakistan sends 747 jumbo jets to evacuate distraught nationals from Yemen
- Iran, powers struggle to overcome disputes in push for nuclear deal
- Tunisian forces kill nine militants in south before solidarity march
- Libya tells Arab summit arms embargo must be lifted to fight IS
Insight - Modi's popularity in rural India punctured by discontent, suicides Full Article