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Margelov Hopes Jackson-Vanik Will Be Repealed in 2012

The United States will raise the issue of discussing the Jackson-Vanik amendment before this summer, said Mikhail Margelov, head of the Federation Council's International Affairs Committee, Interfax reported.

"The administration of President Barack Obama, which has been lobbying this issue in Congress, is synchronizing watches and taking stock of its forces," Margelov told reporters after a round table that focused on the reversal of the amendment in the context of Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization. The event was held behind closed doors. Margelov said Ambassador Michael McFaul has been participating in the round-table process.

It is important for the Obama administration to understand how many votes it can secure in Congress for the decision to repeal the amendment, which was passed during the Cold War era and which limits trading opportunities between Russia and the United States, the senator said.

The issue is "a matter of the U.S. internal calendar," he said. "For us, it is interesting only from the standpoint that the reversal of this amendment will become a political signal that the relics of the Cold War will be removed from our political realities and the reset will be filled with substance," Margelov said.

For the first time, the U.S. presidential administration "has been lobbying the reversal of this amendment genuinely and deeply, and has been doing so very seriously and professionally," he said.

U.S. business circles have joined this process, Margelov added.

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