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Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. NUNES. Madam Speaker, the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment effectively pressured the Soviet Union over its appalling human rights record. It was an important part of America's decades-long effort to contain and ultimately bring down an evil empire.

Times have changed. The Cold War is over, and the USSR has given way to the Russian Federation. Its ruler, Vladimir Putin, presides over an authoritarian regime that closely controls the key economic sectors, shackles the media, stamps out most dissent, and stage-manages the political process. Nevertheless, Putin's Russia is not the Soviet Union, and we should update our laws accordingly.

The Jackson-Vanik amendment addresses problems from a different era. By joining the WTO, Russia has undertaken new obligations to adhere to the rule of law. As we approve normal trade relations with Russia, we must verify that it adheres to its new responsibilities.

Furthermore, by approving the Magnitsky Act, we will signal that corrupt thugs who attack whistleblowers and human rights activists will be held to account--in America, if not Russia. That is why, Madam Speaker, I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this bill.

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