MOSCOW, May 16./TASS/. The US decision to add Chechnya's Terek Special Rapid Response Team and five Russian nationals to the Magnitsky Act represents "sanctions for the sake of sanctions," chairman of the Russian State Duma's Committee on International Affairs Leonid Slutsky said on Thursday.
"US sanctions against the Terek Special Rapid Response Team are absolutely nonsensical and absurd. It looks like they introduced new blacklists just to maintain the notorious Magnitsky Act," Slutsky said.
He reminded that the Magnitsky Act "marked the beginning of the collapse of reset in Russian-US relations." "As a result, US policies of unwarranted pressure brought mutual dialogue with Russia to the non-existent level. Sanctions are now introduced just for the sake of sanctions, and this has become a special type of political paranoia in the United States," he concluded.
The US Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) earlier added Chechnya's Terek Special Rapid Response Team and five Russian nationals, including Terek's commander Abuzayed Vismuradov, to the Magnitsky Act.
The Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act was passed by the US Congress and signed by then-President Barack Obama in December 2012. The law particularly specified sanctions against a number of Russian officials, including law enforcement officers, believed by Washington to have played a role in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, an auditor at the Hermitage Capital Management company, who died in a Moscow detention center in November 2009.
The act envisages sanctioning Russian officials whom the US considers to be responsible for human rights violations. It particularly allows the US government to freeze assets and ban visas for officials.