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Suspension of Russia's G-8 status sought

Nov. 21, 2003 at 6:24 PM

WASHINGTON, Nov. 21 (UPI) -- A bill seeking Russia's suspension from the Group of Eight industrialized democracies was introduced in the U.S. Senate Friday.

The bill's authors, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joe Lieberman (D-CT), said Russia's G-8 membership should be conditioned on the Russian government ending its assault on political freedom, independent media, and the rule of law.

The measure also wants Russia to demonstrate its commitment to the democratic principles that unite all other members of the G-8.

The resolution faulted the Russian government for what it called the selective prosecution of its political opponents, suppression of free media, and widespread atrocities against civilians in Chechnya.

A similar measure was introduced in the House by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA), ranking member on the House International Relations Committee, and Rep. Chris Cox (R-CA), Chairman of the House Policy Committee.

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