The U.S. Senate's decision recommending that the House of Representatives waive the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine highlightstheUnited States' support for ongoing democratic processes in Ukraine, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vasyl Fylypchuk said on Sunday, Interfax-Ukraine reported.

"It is a long-awaited step that will help remove this problem, which is a relic of the Cold War and does not reflect the spirit of the Ukrainian-American strategic partnership," he said.

"We hope that the U.S. House of Representatives will take rapid moves to make a final decision on waiving the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine," the spokesman said.
In an early evening session on Friday, November 18, 2005, the United States Senate passed by unanimous consent S632, a bill to repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment for Ukraine and grant Ukraine Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR), UNIS informed.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Richard Lugar (R-IN), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and received bi-partisan support from other members of the United States Senate.

In a "Dear Colleague" letter written in late October 2005, Sens. Lugar and Barack Obama (D-IL) emphasized the need for the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment as a means to which, "the U.S. must remain committed to assisting Ukraine in pursuing market economic reforms.

The permanent waiver of Jackson-Vanik and establishment of permanent normal trade relations will be the foundation on which further progress in a burgeoning economic partnership can be made."


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