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Kremlin vows to respond to US sanctions against Chechen leader

The US Department of the Treasury announced Kadyrov has been placed on the sanctions list under the Magnitsky Act

MOSCOW, December 21. /TASS/. Moscow will use reciprocity principle in response to the US Treasury Department’s sanctions against Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov and four other Russians, Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Thursday.

"We consider that these sanctions are illegal, unfriendly and we disagree with them," Peskov said.

When asked if Russia plans any tit-for-tat response, Peskov said: "It is highly likely that reciprocity principle will be implemented." Answering a question who is exactly like Kadyrov in the United States, Peskov said: "They have few people like this."

The US Department of the Treasury said on Wednesday Kadyrov, whom Washington accuses of extra-judiciary killings, torture and other gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, has been placed on the sanctions list under the Magnitsky Act.

Besides, sanctions were imposed on Ayub Katayv, Yulia Mayorova, Andrei Pavlov and Alexei Sheshenya. A total of 49 individuals have been targeted under the Magnitsky Act.

Kadyrov laughed at the US sanctions against him on Instagram: "I have a sleepless night ahead, and tranquilizers won’t help." He also said he would not go to the US "for all the gold reserves in the country."

Magnitsky Act

The Magnitsky Act was signed into law in November 2012. The law was named after Sergey Magnitsky, an auditor working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British investment fund, who was arrested on charge of creating illegal tax evasion schemes for the fund. While under investigation, Magnitsky accused a number of Russian officials of corruption. In November 2009, he died in the Matrosskaya Tishina pre-trial detention center in Moscow, as stated by representatives of Hermitage Capital, after being denied essential medical care.

The law envisages sanctions against a number of Russian officials, including employees of law enforcement agencies, whom Washington holds responsible for the death of Magnitsky. Besides, it imposes unilateral US sanctions on Russian officials, who, according to the US authorities are responsible for human rights abuse in their home country. The sanctions range from refusal to issue US entry visas to the freeze on financial assets within the US jurisdiction.