FM Lavrov: Americans face entry bans over Magnitsky Act

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FM Lavrov: Americans face entry bans over Magnitsky Act
Published 7-12-2012, 01:29
Russia will respond to Thursday's passage by the US Senate of the so-called Magnitsky Act by barring entry for Americans, deemed by Moscow as human rights abusers.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced the prospect when commenting on the results of his talks in Dublin with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

On Thursday the US Senate passed a bill imposing visa restrictions on Russian officials accused by US lawmakers of human rights violations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry brands as "absurd” Thursday’s decision by the US Senate to pass the Magnitsky Act, which imposes visa and financial restrictions on Russian officials deemed by Washington to have violated human rights, along with a landmark trade bill with Russia.

"Either Washington has forgotten what year it is or it thinks that the Cold War is not over yet,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the senators are ignoring the obvious fact that any country can deny visas to anyone without enacting special legislation.

"We do not want to give up on the progress in bilateral relations reached over the past few years, but we believe the Magnitsky Act will reflect very negatively on the prospects of our future cooperation,” the statement notes.

Russia’s response to the recent approval of the Magnitsky Act can be harsh and acute, the head of Russia’s Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov stated Thursday after the US had passed the controversial bill imposing sanctions on a number of Russian officials.

Pushkov also said that Russia’s response could be legislative.

The US Senate passed the combined Magnitsky-Jackson-Vanik trade and human rights bill Thursday.

The bill envisages sanctions on Russian officials allegedly linked to the 2009 death of the Hermitage Group lawyer Sergey Magnitsky in a pre-trial detention center as well as other human rights violators. At the same time it cancels the JV amendment which imposed trade restrictions on the USSR back in 1974 due to its emigration policy.

The Senate approved a version envisaging sanctions only against Russians, and not the earlier proposed draft which imposed sanctions on human rights abusers all over the world.

Voice of Russia

 

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