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European Parliament Committee Backs Magnitsky Sanctions

The European Parliament building in Strasbourg
BRUSSELS -- The European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee has proposed that 32 Russian officials be sanctioned by the EU due to their involvement in the death of Russian whistle-blowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

The European Parliament had previously called on EU member states to emulate the United States' so-called Magnitsky List and freeze assets and impose visa bans on Russian officials, but certain European countries have blocked any such move.

However, after the March 17 decision by EU foreign ministers to sanction 13 Russian officials and an additional eight Crimeans for their roles in the crisis in Ukraine, there are hopes that EU member states might change their minds.

It is also the first time the European Parliament has presented the names of those they want punished.

The whole European Parliament is expected to overwhelmingly endorse the proposal during its April plenary.
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