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MINSK, October 30 (Itar-Tass) — If executive authorities of the EU and the US make use of the Magnitsky List, Russia would not leave it without a response, Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told a news conference on Tuesday.
“As for the European Parliament’s decision on the so-called Magnitsky List, as far as we may judge, the executive authorities are not going to make use of this list,” the minister said. “Though, support of the kind in European countries and in the US are audible.”
“We shall hold to see what it will come to, whether these declarations are caused by inner political circumstances,” Lavrov said. “It goes without saying that diplomacies never leave unanswered gestures of the kind.”
The European Union should introduce a visa-ban and freeze the EU assets of all Russian officials linked to the death in custody of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, according to a resolution of the European Parliament passed on Tuesday by an overwhelming majority of votes.
The European Parliament recommended the Council of the European Union “to establish a common EU list of officials responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the subsequent judicial cover-up and for the ongoing and sustained harassment of his mother and widow; and to impose and implement an EU-wide visa ban on these officials and to freeze any financial assets they or their immediate family may hold inside the European Union,” the resolution said.
Sergei Magnitsky, 37, died on November 16, 2009 after being held for 358 days in a pre-trial detention centre. He had been arrested after alleging systematic and large-scale corruption and theft from the Russian government sanctioned by officials. He died after having been refused adequate medical treatment, eight days before he would have had to be released or brought to trial.
The Magnitsky List features names of Russian law enforcement officials and judges, who, the Western side claims, are involved in the death of Magnitsky. The so-called Magnitsky Act imposes sanctions against the Russian citizens on the list.