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Russia’s State Duma to urge UN to remove economic blockade on Cuba

October 18, 2016, 15:35 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, October 18. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) will consider the draft address to the United Nations, other countries’ parliaments and international organizations urging to remove the trade and economic blockade on Cuba on October 19. State Duma Vice-Speaker Igor Lebedev told TASS that the decision had been made at the State Duma Council on Tuesday.

"The question has been submitted for October 19," he said.

The draft decree developed by the Duma’s international affairs committee, emphasizes the need for the immediate removal of the economic, trade and financial blockade on Cuba "not in words but in deeds." "The State Duma members regret to note that hopes pinned on Washington’s easing of the embargo, the restoration of bilateral ties between the US and Cuba one-and-a-half years ago, the mutual opening of diplomatic missions in Havana and Washington, haven’t translated into any practical steps aimed at lifting most of the sanctions and restrictions under the US trade, economic and financial blockade," the document says.

Also, it says, "the restrictions still cover two of the vital social and economic spheres, particularly food and medical supplies." According to the Russian MPs, the US has been imposing exterritorial sanctions against countries cooperating with Cuba, primarily in the financial field, in order to tighten political pressure.

The draft project also points out that Washington’s policy towards Cuba "has for many decades been contravening the requirements of the UN’s core documents on unconditional respect for the principles and norms of international law, particularly, the principles of sovereign equality of states and non-interference in their internal affairs as well as the principle of respect for freedom of international trade and commercial international navigation." "The damage done by the US authorities’ activities against the Cuban state has been very negatively affecting Cuban citizens’ welfare and standard of living, and hampering the social and economic development of the country," the Russian MPs stated.

In this regard, the lower house plans to condemn the United States’ 50-year-old policy of sanctions towards Cuba and express support for the Cuban people. "The State Duma calls for the UN General Assembly, the parliaments of the UN member states and international parliamentary organizations to urge the US to end the economic, trade and financial blockade of the Republic of Cuba," the draft bill concludes. The State Duma will address the UN regarding the issue for the 14th time.

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