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Russian officials criticize adoption of Magnitsky Act

November 16, 2012, 23:16 UTC+3

The Kremlin officials learned about the decision of the House with profound regret

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MOSCOW, November 16 (Itar-Tass) — Russian officials on Friday came up with criticism of the U.S. House of Representatives’ decision to endorse the so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which imposes visa and banking restrictions on the Russian officials implicated in alleged human rights abuses.

Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer of the Hermitage Capital Investment foundation, died at a Moscow pretrial investigations center in November 2009.

The Kremlin officials learned about the decision of the House with profound regret, the Russian President’s press secretary Dmitry Peskov said.

“We learned about this step /of the U.S. Representatives/ with a sense of deep regret and stated with an equal sense of regret that it had been entirely predictable,” Peskov said.

“It shows in bold relief that ‘reloading’ has certainly bypassed some segments of Russian-American relationship,” he said. “There should be no doubt that a proportionate response from the Russian side will follow.”

The speaker of the State Duma, Sergei Naryshkin, views the endorsement of the Act as an instance of politicking around a person’s tragic death.

“I think the /Congressmen’s/ decision falls short of the current level of relations between Russia and the U.S.,” he said. “I perceive it as an attempt to interfere with Russia’s internal affairs and an instance of politicking around an individual’s tragic death.”

“This bluntly short-sighted step by the U.S. legislators runs counter common achievements of the past few years and undermines trust between the two countries,” Naryshkin said.

“The adoption of this legislative document won’t be left unanswered by the Russian side by any means and practical steps on it will entail practical responses on our part,” he said.

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