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MOSCOW, October 19. /TASS/. Russia’s State Duma (lower house of parliament) unanimously passed an appeal on Wednesday calling on the UN, worldwide parliaments and international organizations to lift the trade and economic blockade on Cuba. The document was drawn up and submitted for discussion by the State Duma International Affairs Committee.
"State Duma members note with regret that the hopes associated with easing the blockade by Washington, restoration of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Cuba and the US about eighteen months ago, the mutual opening of diplomatic missions in Havana and Washington, the beginning of the Cuban-US cooperation on an array of issues, including the war on terror, illegal drug smuggling and human trafficking, air transport security and other issues of mutual interest have never come true by removing the majority of restrictions and sanctions," the document said.
Russian lawmakers recalled that "so far, the restrictions have applied, for example, to two vitally important socio-economic sectors - food and pharmaceuticals." According to parliamentarians, Washington’s actions to impose extraterritorial sanctions against countries cooperating with Cuba and their economic entities, primarily, in the financial sector, stem from politically motivated pressure.
The appeal also states that the US policy towards Cuba "for many decades runs counter to the requirements of UN’s fundamental documents on unconditional respect for the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, in particular, the principles of countries’ sovereign equality, non-interference in their internal affairs and respect for the principle of freedom of international trade and merchant shipping." The damage inflicted on the Cuban state by the US authorities’ actions has a negative effect on Cuban citizens’ living standards seriously hampering the social and economic development of the Republic of Cuba," the parliamentarians emphasized.
To that end, the lower house of the Russian parliament condemned the more than half-century old US sanctions policy towards Cuba and expressed support for the Cuban people. "The State Duma calls on the UN General Assembly, the parliaments of the UN members and international parliamentary organizations to strongly urge the US to end the economic, trade and financial blockade of the Republic of Cuba," the document said.
This is the 14th such appeal by Russia’s State Duma.