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Russia not to leave sanctions imposed by US without answer — Foreign Ministry

May 21, 2014, 21:15 UTC+3
"We consider the US administration's decision to impose visa and financial sanctions against 12 Russian citizens in the so-called Magnitsky list as unfounded," Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy says
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© AP Photo/Alexander Zemlianichenko

MOSCOW, May 21. / ITAR-TASS /. Russia will respond to the US Magnitsky list expansion not only on the principles of reciprocity, but of justice, Russian Foreign Ministry’s envoy Konstantin Dolgov said.

"We consider the US administration's decision to impose visa and financial sanctions against 12 Russian citizens in the so-called Magnitsky list as unfounded and dictated by a cynical desire to use human tragedy in unscrupulous political purposes”, the diplomat said  stressing that "sanctions against lawlessness Russia" will not remain without reaction.

"We will be guided not only by the principle of reciprocity, but also by considerations of equity applying restrictive measures to those who have escaped responsibility for a human rights crime in the United States and human rights of Russian citizens," the diplomat said.

The United States is imposing sanctions on 12 more Russian citizens in accordance with the so-called Magnitsky Act. The measures are being taken against persons involved in the detention and death of lawyer of the British fund Hermitage Capital Management in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina (Sailor’s Rest) detention centre in November 2009. Among them there are employees of the Butyrka prison and Matrosskaya Tishina detention facility, Russian law enforcement agencies.

People included in the “Magnitsky list” are denied American entry visas, and their assets in the United States, if any, are frozen.

In 2008, Moscow-based lawyer for Hermitage Capital Management told a Russian court that he had discovered an elaborate embezzlement scheme by police and tax officials involving more than $200 million in tax funds. After his statements, Magnitsky was charged with tax evasion and held for 11 months in prison where his pancreatitis went untreated. The 37-year-old died on November 16, 2009 in Moscow’s Matrosskaya Tishina prison. In 2011, under then President Dmitry Medvedev, the Kremlin’s human rights commission determined that Magnitsky had been handcuffed, severely beaten and denied medical care.

US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki specified in a written statement that her department jointly with the US Treasury Department had submitted the current addition to the “Magnitsky list” to Congress.

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