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Russia’s Foreign Ministry expanded from 11 to 71 names on the list of the US citizens, who would not be able to enter Russia. The list was a response to the Magnitsky list, Chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Relations Committee Alexei Pushkov said on Friday. The first list, which the foreign ministry put together in autumn, had 11 names of the US officials, who, Moscow claimed, were connected to violations of human rights and to tortures at Guantanamo and in the CIA’s secret prisons in Europe. The additional list had 60 names: those responsible for the criminal prosecution of Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko, those responsible for violations against adopted children as well as authors and lobbyists of the Magnitsky Act.
The list is not public, and it is composed by the foreign ministry, the Vedomosti reports. According to the law, the list may have names of any Americans involved in violation of human rights, Deputy Chairman of the State Duma’s Foreign Relations Committee Vyacheslav Nikonov said. The newspaper reports him as saying that some names may have been included in the foreign ministry’s report on human rights of October 22. Besides, Nikonov said, before the legal response to the Magnitsky Act was adopted, Russia had banned entering Russia for the US Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, former Commander, Joint Task Force Guantanamo.
The foreign ministry’s report includes names of officials, who in 2002 approved use of tortures: Former Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, Attorney General John Ashcroft, the CIA’s Director George Tenet and other officials. The list also contained other officials of the US Justice, who drafted the legal basis for the torture methods.
The report lists those “responsible for violations of adopted children’s rights”: 10 parents and the Court of York (Pennsylvania), the Court of Bristow (Virginia), Prosecution of Woolworth (Wisconsin). The report does not name those who prosecuted Bout (arrested in 2008) or Yaroshenko (arrested in 2010). Nkonov did not rule out that “theoretically” the list may also feature Attorney General Eric Holder (whose mandate began in 2009).
The Magnitsky Act had been presented to the Congress for several times, it was initiated by 12 people, and at the higher house 15 senators initiated it in May of 2011. Nikonov said he knew nothing about adding to the list the names of Condoleezza Rice or Dick Cheney, or any senators.
Logically, Rice and Cheney should not be on the list – this could affect the diplomatic relations between the two countries, the Vedomosti report as saying Deputy Head of the Foreign Relations Committee Leonid Kalashnikov. He said, despite the expanded version of the response to the Magnitsky Act, politicians are not affected by it.
The two countries continue the biting exchange, but the “information noise” should not be overestimated – among the US’ foreign topics, Russia is not number one, and Obama’s administration is for improvement of the relations, Director of the Centre for Social and Political Research Vladimir Yevseyev said. He did not forecast any economic consequences and added that the ban to enter Russia would not affect many people, as the number of people interested in close relations with this country is not high.