MOSCOW, December 24 (Itar-Tass) — Moscow hopes that the U.S. authorities will show common sense related to petitions to expand the Magnitsky list and that they will not heighten confrontation with Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said on Monday.
Ryabkov told journalists, “I want to believe that common sense will prevail. We will not enter into a new spiral of absolutely senseless and harmful confrontation.”
Ryabkov described the situation as “the U.S. pure demonstration”. “This is not the method to solve the problem. This is very harmful especially when the situation is very tense,” the deputy foreign minister stressed.
Earlier, speaking at a session of the Federation Council Foreign Affairs Committee on Monday, Ryabkov said, “We’ve never upheld and we won’t uphold the use of any banned lists in our relationship with the United States.”
“These are the war of lists and operating for a rise that ‘hotheads’ in the U.S. call for. These steps find support inside Russia, but this is not our path,” the deputy foreign minister said.
In his words, “the search for compromises and mutually advantageous solutions to problems, if there are any disputes in the countries’ approaches towards such issues as human rights and trans-border consequences of the economic activity, is the unique way to develop interstate relations.”
On December 21, the State Duma, lower house of parliament, approved the draft law, “On Measures of Influence upon Persons Involved in Violations of Fundamental Human Rights and Freedoms”, in the third reading. The State Duma’s draft law was Russia’s response to the U.S. Magnitsky Act. Lawmakers approved visa and financial restrictions for persons, “who took a decision to ban Russian citizens’ entry and to arrest their interests due to their involvement in violations of human rights”. In addition, the lower house introduced a ban on adopting Russian children by U.S. citizens and called for denunciating the Russian-American Adoption Agreement.
On December 21, different public initiatives were made public on the White House website to urge the U.S. authorities to include in the Magnitsky Act the names of State Duma deputies, who had “supported the Russian law”. Less for than 48 hours a total of 25,000 signatures were collected.
The response to the Magnitsky Act is expected to be discussed by the Federation Council on December 26.