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Russia Warns U.S. Over Magnitsky Bill

Magnitsky died in 2009 after spending 11 months in pretrial detention after implicating top Russian officials in a corruption scheme.
Magnitsky died in 2009 after spending 11 months in pretrial detention after implicating top Russian officials in a corruption scheme.

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'Magnitsky Bill' Clears Key Senate Panel

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee has approved legislation that seeks to punish Russian officials connected to the prison death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
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By RFE/RL
Russia has warned the United States that Moscow will retaliate if U.S. lawmakers pass a law blacklisting Russian officials connected to the death in prison of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said the Russian government not only regretted but was "astonished" by the June 26 approval by a key U.S. Senate panel of a bill that would deny visas and freeze assets of Russian officials who have been linked to Magnitsky's death.

Ryabkov warned that if U.S. lawmakers passed the bill and it became law, Moscow would respond with even harsher measures targeting the United States.

Magnitsky died in 2009 after spending 11 months in pretrial detention. He was arrested after implicating top Russian officials in a corruption scheme.

Magnitsky was denied medical care and beaten during his incarceration. Just one low-level prison doctor has been charged in Russia in connection with the case, while some senior officials connected to the case have been promoted.

His death has come to be seen as a symbol of Russia's rights failings, particularly by members of the U.S. Congress.

Legislative Action

The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee unanimously endorsed the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act on June 26.

The law would require that the United States deny visas and freeze assets of human rights offenders worldwide. But it specifically targets Russian officials linked to Magnitsky's death.

Earlier this month, a House of Representatives committee passed a similar piece of Magnitsky-related legislation. The measure has yet to come to a vote in the full House.

President Barack Obama's administration has voiced concern that the measure could undermine the "reset" in U.S.-Russia relations. However, analysts say that Obama is not likely to veto the measure if it's passed by the House and Senate.

In Helsinki, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told reporters on June 27, "We think there is a way of expressing concerns [over Russia's rights record] without derailing the relationship [and that is] what we are working with our Congress to do and we have every reason to believe we can accomplish that."

Speaking at a think-tank event in Washington, Russian opposition leader and former Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov said Moscow would not contemplate scaling back cooperation on major security issues as a response.

"I don't think so, absolutely not -- just because Mr. Putin and the people on his team see their lack of legitimacy internally. Social polls already show that more than 50 percent of the population cannot see this [government] as a legitimate power," Kasyanov said.

"That's why Putin badly needs external sources of legitimacy, and that's why [Russian cooperation] on international security issues like Afghanistan and Iran will be continued."

Jackson-Vanik Repeal

Passage of the Magnitsky legislation has been tied in Congress to efforts to repeal Cold War-era restrictions on trade with Russia.

Repealing the Jackson-Vanik Amendment is needed to grant Russia permanent normalized trade relations with the United States.

The Obama administration has pushed for the repeal. Without it, analysts say Washington could find itself at a disadvantage as Russia prepares to enter the World Trade Organization, the body that sets trade rules and enforces trade agreements between the organization's members.

Some supporters in the U.S. Congress of the Magnitsky bill have said they would vote against normalizing trade relations with Russia unless the Magnitsky bill is attached.

With reporting by AFP and ITAR-TASS
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Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Jack from: US
June 27, 2012 14:19
Look at that Magnitsky. He looks like a drunk. I hope I am not the only one who recognizes that he is an agent of the Wahhabi anti-Christian conspiracy. As a lifelong Serbian, I cannot support any CIA/NATO minion like Magnitsky, and I hope he gets what's coming to him.
In Response

by: Jack from: Russia
June 28, 2012 02:04
Jack (pretending to be from US) you're the minion, shameless in your comments. Magnitsky was a true Russian patriot, one with a conscience, unlike yourself. Let's hope those Russian officials aka criminals one day see true justice, the passage of this bill is just the beginning.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
June 28, 2012 13:35
you should be aware one RFE/RL staffer picks his nose and post findings on RFE/RL forum under my name, to dupe illiterates like yourself. The reason RFE/RL does it is because RFE/RL is CIA-operated propaganda shop promoting US government agenda. US is the major sponsor of terrorism, and US government puts up all kind of propaganda to support its position
In Response

by: Jack from: Djibouti, Djibouti
June 28, 2012 19:46
Will the real Jack please stand up?

by: Konstantin from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2012 16:01
Whether "Jackson-Vinnik" bill against Russia entering WTO,
Or would be new "Magnitsky" bill against Russia would do,
Hard to tell, however, I wouldn't reduced it to the mizer
Of Bush Junior's vandetta, like "He insulted my father",
Or Hillary's passion give Syria to "brotherhood" doods.

What hapened to the principal stand of some leaders,
As Roozewelt's stand against expanding aggressors,
Or principal of independence against Imperial attacks
By Germany and Japan, or even prevent annexations
By British Empire post-war Europe and parts of Asia?

I would rather go by UN Charter with close foundation
To principals of American Revolution and Constitution.
Russia must at least withdraw from invaded countries,
Better also from the "Russian Federation" Autonomies
And return non-Russian property in Russia and Siberia.

As for the WTO membershiip, Russia - end blockades
That inflicted on your neighbours, to blackmail invaded,
Like Georgia and Moldova, or the other East Europeans
That you blackmail: Ukraine, Baltics, Belorus and Pols,
Or Central Asia. Add energy blokade against the World.

What is a reason USA government is shy on principals?
Is it 1954 pact of Russia, Brits and Bechtel resurection
Of empires of Russia, Germano-Austria and British?
Is it pipelines of the Russian stolen cheap gas and oil
From Tatar and Turkmen under Sea arround Baltics?

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 27, 2012 16:15
Russian warnings on this issue are an empty threat. Just who do they plan on banning from entering Russia? George Dubya? Just who would want to visit Russia anyway?
In Response

by: Konstantin` from: Los Angeles
June 27, 2012 22:09
Anonymous (from USA?) - you must be Great Russian Scientist,
If you manipulate two logical gates, if you doing it on purpose,
Meaning me or Georgia, and Dubua, the skull founder wist
Of forged possibly by Darvin's agentura under his nose,
Neanderthal's skull - two gates that lead to more?

If your Russia is going to "bann" me "entering",
I am already here. To deport me? A possibility,
To stop my public speach, like the Internetting,
Or mayby concated "legend" for kidnappability,
Or I "visit Russia" anyway - for some torturing.

If you imply Georgia and Dubua, not unlike few
Russians, comments writers - pseudo-racists,
Saling to us Russian Neanderthals as "whites",
Go to "WorldFreedomAndTruth.info" old maps
And Crober's anthropology's m/n tables revew.

Of coarse, you could be a Russian dvoechnic,
As many of them are - using "George" to pick
On invaded by Russia Georgia again? Dubua
Could be found in my jokes - Forums amplua.

by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
June 28, 2012 18:58
(I’m a freedom-loving American, but I think that RFE needs to do a better job censoring trolls and the incoherent.) With advances in technology, one would like to think that our government would be able to punish these Russian officials without creating such a fuss. While I’m not advocating drone strikes, US officials should be able to ensure that those responsible for this murder never visit America or invest their ill-gotten gains in this country. As Steve Coll points out in a recent New Yorker article, we need Russian help in Afghanistan, and the Russian authorities could, if so prompted, make life much tougher for US military involved in this operation. American politicians need to relearn how to walk softly (and not try to squeeze political points out of every situation).
In Response

by: Jack from: US
June 28, 2012 23:12
I agree that whoever was involved in murder of Magnitsky (if there was a murder) should be punished, not just by US government, but first of all by Russian government.
Likewise, Russian government should consider issuing arrest warrants for US government officials involved in murder of Christians in Waco, TX, in Ruby Ridge ID, in Kosovo, in Bosnia, in Syria, in Lybia, and ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of all non-Muslims.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
June 29, 2012 00:04
Hi Ray,

I think RFERL is working within its policies and cannot do much about trolls etc. Therefore, I have taken on the mantle of challenging cyber-bullies when-ever they contribute. Trolls cannot be stopped, but they can be kept in check when they go too far. (And changing their name will not prevent my wrath - I can tell from their sentance structure and verbage as to who they are - aliases will not help them.) Some of them are simply not as well read as others, and benefit from more information being provided to them - one should always aim to enlighten.

Do not be too quick to speak out against the "incoherent" - that was my first reaction until I, over a period of time, recognised the vast knowledge and distorted genius behind it - give it time and you might be guided. Please, more of your comments on this site!

Regards, William of Aragon
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 29, 2012 01:15
Hello Ray,
You touched upon something very important that is always overlooked when people criticize Obama's dealings with Russia---THE ROAD OUT OF AFGHANISTAN WILL GO THROUGH RUSSIA. Pakistan is no longer a reliable ally and the North will be the way out. I seriously doubt that Obama is ignoring the nasty events Russia presents (10 captured Russian agents, support for Al-Assad/Kim Jong-il/Lukashenka/Qadaffi/etc., lack of human rights, blackmail of Ukraine, Viktor Bout arms deals, and many others.) with ease. He is probably holding down vomit every time he has to face Putin. The G-20 summit recently confirms my suspicions, Obama looked pretty sick after meeting with him. I blame GWB for creating this conundrum with the Russians and leaving it for Obama to straighten out---if that's even possible. Let Russia, China, India, and Iran deal with Afghanistan and their radical Pakistani allies and get Americans out of Central Asia. Once that's accomplished, then Obama can take a harder line against Russia.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
June 29, 2012 13:26
"..and get Americans out of Central Asia". Why just Central Asia? Get US government out of everywhere, including Washington. 3,000 Americans killed on 9/11 by Saudi allies of US government + 7,000 kiiled by US government with their Wahhabi Sunni alies in Iraq and Afghanistan should make American people think who their real enemy is
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 29, 2012 16:20
Jack, get your head out of your a--!! There weren't 3000 Americans killed on 9/11, many were foreign workers, some victims were even Muslim. It was called WORLD Trade Center. Also, it is the Saudi royal family that are allies of the US--which Al Qaeda vowed to overthrow--NOT Islamic extremists.
In Response

by: Jack from: US
June 29, 2012 18:08
"it is the Saudi royal family that are allies of the US--which Al Qaeda vowed to overthrow--NOT Islamic extremists".. yeah, really? what is the difference between Saudi royal family which executes people for choosing Christianity over Islam and "islamic extremists"? Who are not Islamic extremist in your opinion? Kosovo Liberation Army whose leaders used Christian prisoners as organ donors? with approval of US government
In Response

by: Anonymous from: USA
June 29, 2012 20:40
It is not the royal family that kills people for choosing Christianity, it is Islamic Law. Shiite Muslims also behave this way, yet you remain strangely silent regarding them. Didn't Iran just execute somebody recently for drinking alcohol? BTW, I am no fan of Islamic Law and don't believe Western nations should ever find it acceptable. Muslims who choose to live in the Christian World should abide by its traditions(i.e. no burqa's or minaret calling etc.).
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
July 02, 2012 05:58
Here is an example of what I was saying about trolls, Ray. It would be nice if they spent their time being productive. The complicating factor is that there are now at least 3 different identities out there using the name Anonymous: http://www.rferl.org/content/daghestan-police-detain-suspect-in-murder-of-local-official/24625497.html
In Response

by: Ray F. from: Lawrence, KS
July 02, 2012 12:52
Agree, and I hope that RFE considers adopting measures to prevent their site from becoming a shouting match of ill-informed opinions. Again, I’m all for freedom of speech, but as the Internet evolves, and how we use it as a communication tool, I think that that are to be greater movement toward personal responsibility. As each computer has a specific IP address, perhaps RFE should mimic other web sites which require that those who want to comment, must first register under a particular and unique user-name, and then abide by certain rules. If a person truly believes what he writes, then he ought to be courageous enough to use his real name.
In Response

by: William from: Aragon
July 02, 2012 23:17
I agree completely. Regards, William

by: rick from: milan
July 02, 2012 12:07
Americans obsessed with Russia ...

by: Oleksander
July 02, 2012 13:35
Jack from USA
Is a moscovite troll , who can be found on different sites , always promoting moscovite interests and degrading the US . With typical
moscovite " cunning " , he attempts to pass himself of as someone
from the US , but always gives himself away miserably , ignore
him!

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