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RF bans entry of some US ranking officials responding to Magnitsky list

October 22, 2011, 13:54 UTC+3

"The campaign, continued in the US around the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky provokes a serious concert,” the ministry emphasised

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MOSCOW, October 22 (Itar-Tass) — Authorities approved a list of US citizens whose stay in the Russian Federation was recognised as undesirable, said the Russian Foreign Ministry on Saturday.

“Guided by the principle of mutuality, authorities approved a list of US citizens whose stay in the Russian Federation was recognised as undesirable,” the ministry stated. “It includes ranking Washington officials, implicated in resounding crimes in the humanitarian sphere, such as legalisation of tortures in American special prisons, kidnappings and humiliation of terror suspects, unlimited internment of detainees in Guantanamo, uninvestigated murders of civil population in Iraq and Afghanistan.”

“Well-known are also names of those, bearing responsibility for unlawful actions against Russian citizens in the US; who sanctioned and personally participated in kidnappings and humiliation of them,” the ministry continued. The entry to Russia to these people is also naturally prohibited. This is not the full point: if the American side takes the road of visa confrontation, we shall be forced to prolong this list.”

“The campaign, continued in the US around the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, including the decision of the State Department on imposing visa sanctions against some Russian office-holders and a list of Russians who will be banned to that country, provokes serious concern,” the ministry emphasised. “Sure, we have not left unanswered the political provocation against our country.”

“In actual fact, this is an attempt of direct pressure on our state structures, having nothing to do with care for human rights, or with a desire to find out all circumstances of the case,” the Russian Foreign Ministry noted. “It is not impossible that political gambling with ban lists for Russians criss-crossed the positive dynamics, accumulated by Russian-American relations.

The Russian Foreign Ministry does not mention specific names in the statement. Magnitsky’s death is a Russian tragedy, while the West tries, with their lists, “to decide for us who is to blame”, Sergei Lavrov said on Friday.

“The presumption of innocence is in force, while the court has not passed a decision,” the Russian minister underlined. “And the attempt by Senator Cardin is a crude violation of this principle of presumption of innocence, sacred for every American.”

Senator Democrat Benjamin Cardin motioned a bill, providing for punitive measures against Russian officials, including staff members of force departments, implicated in the death of lawyer Magnitsky at the Moscow investigation ward.

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