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Russia’s WTO accession not to be linked to Magnitsky case

April 26, 2012, 23:30 UTC+3

Lukashevich warned that if the idea of ‘Magnitsky bill’ continues to evolve in the United States, Russia will be forced to retaliate

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MOSCOW, April 26 (Itar-Tass) — Alexander Lukashevich, the Russian Foreign Ministry’s spokesman, said on Thursday that the United States shouldn’t link Russia’s accession to the WTO to the ‘Magnitsky case’.

Moscow paid attention to remarks made by Victoria Nuland, an official spokesman for the U.S. State Department, about sanctions against Russia in the context of ongoing congressional debates on lifting the notorious Jackson-Vanik amendment, the Russian diplomat went on to say.

“We are surprised and are failing to grasp this unique interpretation of the U.S. administration’s efforts to repeal this relict amendment which no longer has any grounds for existence and which is working against the interests of American business in conditions of Russia’s accession to the WTO,” Lukashevich emphasized.

He warned that if the idea of ‘Magnitsky bill’ continues to evolve in the United States, Russia will be forced to retaliate.

“If the situation develops this way, we will certainly have to respond and that could have a negative impact on Russian-American relations that have seen positive dynamics in recent years,” Lukashevich emphasized.

He added that attempts by certain forces in the U.S. Congress to link the removal of ‘cold war’ anachronisms in Russian-American relations to various claims in the field of human rights were unacceptable for Russia.

“This kind of development of the situation would certainly create an unnecessary irritant in relations with the United States, and we hope that the American side is fully aware of that,”

Alexander Lukashevich urged the Ukrainian authorities to be more humane to the former Ukrainian prime minister.

“We are closely watching the situation related to the ex-prime minister of Ukraine. We understand that Mrs.Timoshenko needs urgent medical aid,” Lukashevich said.

“We hope that the Ukrainian authorities will take all necessary measures to fully observe her legitimate rights, will show humanism and find an adequate response to the incident without aggravating the internal political situation in the country,” Lukashevich emphasized.

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