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White House: US to avoid expanding ‘Magnitsky’ blacklist for time being

“That doesn't mean that we won't in the future", said Obama’s key foreign policy adviser

WASHINGTON, December 21 (Itar-Tass) - The United States has decided to avoid expanding its ‘Magnitsky’ blacklist of Russian officials declared personae non gratae on the suspicion of human rights abuse and corruption, President Barack Obama’s key foreign policy adviser, Ben Rhodes, confirmed in an exclusive interview to Itar-Tass Friday evening.

“We are not currently adding any additional names to the Magnitsky list,” Rhodes, the current deputy national security adviser for strategic communication for U.S. President Obama, said. “That doesn't mean that we won't in the future. We continue to have obligations under legislation. But we are not anticipating adding new names -- certainly by the end of the year or in the near future, early next year. We'll continue to look at the issue and we'll continue to fulfill our commitments under the law, but we are not currently adding any additional names.”

The Magnitsky list is a list of 18 Russian officials, none of them high-ranking, who have been declared personae non gratae in the US according to a so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which was adopted by the Congress in December 2012.

The people mentioned in the Magnitsky list are denied entry to the US. Besides, their assets in the US, if they have any, have to be frozen.