Helsinki: US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she’s optimistic that relations with Moscow will not suffer despite planned legislation in Congress that would impose tough sanctions on Russian human rights violators.
Clinton says she expects “something to move” on both the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik law and on Congress’ concerns about Russian human rights.
She told reporters in Finland on Wednesday that the concerns could be expressed “without derailing the relationship (with Moscow) and that is what we are working with our Congress to do and we have every reason to believe we can accomplish that.”
The repeal of Jackson-Vanik is necessary if US businesses are to enjoy lower tariffs and increased access to Russian markets when Russia joins the World Trade Organization this summer.
Clinton to reporters at newser after talks with Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja:
“We expect something to move on the repeal of Jackson-Vanik and something to move to reflect the Congress’ concerns,” she told reporters in Helsinki.
“Now, we discussed this directly with President (Vladimir) Putin when I was with President Obama in Mexico. We made it very clear that, you know, we do have concerns about human rights in Russia,” Clinton said.
“But again, to go back to original question, we think there is a way of expressing those concerns without derailing the relationship,” she said, “and that is what we are working with our Congress to do and we have every reason to believe we can accomplish that.”