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Russian lawmaker slams Canada’s Magnitsky Act as undermining international law

October 05, 16:06 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The Magnitsky Act adopted by Canada stipulates, among other things, freezing assets and canceling visas for human rights violators who are members of a foreign government

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© REUTERS/Chris Wattie

MOSCOW, October 5. /TASS/. The Magnitsky Act adopted by Canada’s parliament undermines international law, and Western countries continue to ideologize international relations, Head of the Federation Council’s (upper house) Committee for International Relations Konstantin Kosachev said on Thursday. 

"A dangerous tendency of applying national law to international relations is evident. That is, the grounds of international law based on the coordination of different parties’ positions and the willful adoption of general rules are being undermined," the senator wrote on his Facebook page.

In their drive to continue ideologizing international relations, Western countries "are all beginning to look more like liberal equivalents of the Soviet Union that was guided by ideology in its foreign policy." "And this, no doubt, does not help ease tensions in the world that were chiefly brought on by a Western shift to a sanctions language on ideological grounds," the MP pointed out.

"I don’t know what would be more absurd in the local version of the Magnitsky Act adopted by Canada’s lower house of parliament: a slavish ‘big brother’ imitation that narrows such actions down to an overt parody or a pompous, yet small-town, claim to a global ombudsman status," Kosachev noted.

He stressed that Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland wrote with absolute seriousness that the adopted law will provide "tools to bring human rights violators to justice and to fight corruption." "Who empowered Canada to deal with it internationally and decide who is corrupt in other countries and who isn't, and apply punitive actions against foreign citizens?" the Federation Council committee head questioned.

In his opinion, all of this would look like yet another curious ideological incident by yet another "infallible" country, if it were not for a few points. "This concerns not only Canada, but its relations with other countries that are reflective of a direct dictate and blackmailing. It is clear that this approach will be responded to, and these retaliatory measures will be construed, as usual, as opposition by authoritarian regimes to the advancement of democracy. Such acts are taken for this purpose. That is, the side that first accuses others of violations is immaculate by default," Kosachev noted.

Canadian law

Canada’s parliament adopted the Justice for Victims of Corrupt Foreign Officials Act (The Sergey Magnitsky Law) on Wednesday, which is the Canadian version of America’s Sergey Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. It stipulates, among other things, freezing assets and canceling visas for human rights violators who are members of a foreign government.

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