Russia’s Foreign Ministry has promptly responded to the compilation by the United States of a list of 18 Russian officials who fall under visa and financial sanctions in connection with the “Magnitsky case.” The stop-list of US citizens also includes 18 names. However, contrary to expectations, it does not include senior officials.
Last weekend, the United States and Russia exchanged the lists of banned citizens, writes the RBC daily. The so-called “Magnitsky list” has turned out to be shorter than expected. Contrary to expectations, it does not include top officials, however, this step can be regarded as only the beginning of bargaining by the US side, which is so far using the “good cop/bad cop” tactics.
The US Department of the Treasury on Friday published the “Magnitsky list” comprising 18 names, emphasises the publication. The law, named in memory of auditor of the Hermitage Capital fund Sergei Magnitsky who died in a Moscow detention centre, was passed by the US Congress in late 2012. It provides for visa and economic sanctions against the Russians involved, in the view of the American parliamentarians, in human rights violations. Most of them are people whom the United States considers to be involved in the death of Magnitsky.
The fact that the list consists of only 18 families, testifies to the fact that the actions of the US State Department so far do not con coincide with the desire of American senators, the newspaper notes. Almost all those included in the US list are no longer working in the positions that they has occupied at the time of developments around the employee of Hermitage Capital. However, the list can be either expanded or cut any time.
In turn, the Russian Foreign Ministry issued a list of 18 US citizens who are not allowed to enter the territory of Russia. Moscow’s list contains the names of many American lawmakers who directly contributed to the creation of this document.
Washington and Moscow have made public unexpectedly short “Magnitsky lists”: the United States did not mention high-ranking officials, and Russia – the parents of the orphan children who died, the Vedomosti newspaper writes.
The Russian list looks simply funny, the Nezavisimaya Gazeta newspaper believes. We work according to the Old Testament – an eye for an eye? But there is a discrepancy here. Because it turns out that the Russian authorities have equated Magnitsky with arms dealers and terrorists.
Meanwhile, according to the Kommersant daily, the United States has already made it clear that its black lists (the public and secret) are not final. This is not a one-time action, a senior White House official said at a closed-door briefing. And the newspaper source, which is close to the US administration, pledged that the publication of the shortened list can be explained by the lack of time.
The US administration made it clear that the work on the “Magnitsky list” will be continued and new names inevitably appear in it as the information on human rights violations in Russia is checked. This means that the Russian-American relations are at risk to become hostage to the war of the lists for long, the publication believes.
The Komsomolskaya Pravda daily quoted a comment of Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich. “We regret to state that the American side, following the provisions of the absurd “Sergei Magnitsky Act” has made public the names of Russian citizens against whom visa and financial sanctions are introduced,” it says. “Our principled assessment of this unfriendly step is well known – under the pressure of Russophobic members of the US Congress a major blow has been dealt to the bilateral relations and mutual trust.”