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December 12. /ITAR-TASS/.If the USA expands the "Magnitsky List," Russia's response will mirror the U.S. measure, lawmakers and diplomats said after U.S. Ambassador Michael McFaul did not rule out on Wednesday that the document might be revised and the decision was due to be made before the end of this year.
McFaul mentioned the "List" when talking to Russian reporters, the newspaper Izvestia writes. He said the "List" was being revised but that no final decision on it had been made yet.
"In the end, (Secretary of State John) Kerry will decide this," McFaul told journalists. "There is a public section of the list and a secret section. All of these questions have not been decided yet, but the process is taking place."
In his opinion, the issue might be decided upon by yearend.
The Izvestia reminds that the "Magnistsky List" now comprises 18 names. It envisions visa and economic sanctions against the Russians involved in human rights violations and the death in the Matrosskaya Tishina remand prison of Hermitage Capital foundation auditor Sergei Magnitsky.
Russian Foreign Ministry human rights commissioner Konstantin Dolgov said that as soon as this measure (extension of the "List") followed, "we'll take adequate responsive steps."
The newspaper reminds that Russia has a list of its own which bans entry into the country of 18 U.S. citizens involved in tortures at the Guantanamo prison and violations of Russians' rights and freedoms abroad.
"The U.S. re-evaluates its list, we'll react with a mirror response. Everything depends on how much Washington wishes to re-animate the confrontation which characterized our countries in December and April, when the "Magnitsky Law" actually moved to the foreground of our relations," head of the committee on international affairs under the State Duma lower house of Russia's parliament Alexei Pushkov told the Izvestia.
Member of the committee on international affairs under the Federation Council upper house of Russia's parliament Igor Morozov believes the USA will expand the "List."
"It is indicated by U.S. prosecutors' unfriendly act, as they alleged that our diplomats had been involved in medical insurance fraud and espionage. I believe fanning anti-Russian hysteria is now underway, caused by our decision on Edward Snowden. So expansion of the "Magnitsky List" is likely to become the U.S. response."
Editor-in-chief of the magazine Russia in Global Affairs, political scientist Fyodor Lukyanov shares this opinion. "I don't rule out that the list will be expanded... but it will change nothing. On the whole, Russian-US relations are at a low level at present, in the first place because there is no broad list of issues on which both sides could maintain contacts. "If there were, all political issues would be resolved far easier. But since this is not the case - with the exception of a few regional conflicts where Russia and the USA have to interact - Syria, Iran and Afghanistan - everything's happening just the way it is happening," Lukyanov said.
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