Surkov, McFaul talk corruption

The Moscow News

First Deputy Head of the Presidential Administration, Vladislav Surkov, traveled to Washington D.C. to discuss child protection, migration and anti-corruption and prison reform efforts as part of the U.S. – Russia Bilateral Presidential Commission Civil Society Working Group – while discussion of the ongoing controversy over the death of Sergei Magnitsky was apparently left off the table.

The Russian delegation, comrpised of officials and human rights activists, arrived in Washington on Tuesday, June 6. The participants were divided into subgroups, each of which dealt with one specific issue. “Some visited prisons, some focused on child abuse,” said Yana Yakovleva, a representative of Business-Solidarnost, a participating community organization aimed at protecting entrepreneurs. “Basically, it was a sharing experience and an exchange of views.”

The two-day session was headed by Surkov and Stanford professor Michael McFaul, the nominee for United States Ambassador to Russia.

All four topics on the agenda are urgent for both Russia and the U.S., but issues of prison reform and corruption are seen as most vital. “[Corruption] has different causes in the respective countries, but huge corruption rows occur both here and there,” Surkov told Izvestia.

According to The New Times magazine, another purpose of Surkov’s visit to Washington may have been to discuss U.S. Senator Benjamin Cardin’s draft legislation which aims to “impose sanctions on persons responsible for the detention, abuse, or death of Sergei Magnitsky, for the conspiracy to defraud the Russian Federation of taxes on corporate profits… and for other gross violations of human rights in the Russian Federation.” According to the participants of the session, however, this issue was not touched upon.

Cardin’s list includes 60 people who were allegedly involved in the Magnitsky case, but according to opposition politician Garry Kasparov, “there is another, shorter list of just three people.”

“They are Vyacheslav Surkov, Rosmolodezh head Vasily Yakinemko and the Central Election Commission chair Vladimir Churov,” Kasparov told The New Times. “And this is what worries Surkov”.

The legislation has gained the support of other senators who suggest sanctions be imposed not only on the officials themselves, but also their families who would then be denied American visas and be barred from operating accounts in American banks.

“I think this measure is very effective,” New Times journalist Zoya Svetova said on a Radio Svoboda talk show. “Because I think the only thing that Russian officials are afraid of is their accounts abroad being frozen and being banned from entering both the U.S. and Europe.

“Whoever came up with this idea, it’s absolutely brilliant — to make lists of banned people giving not just their names, but also what they are guilty of or suspected of.”

Not everyone is in agreement with the proposed legislation, and U.S. journalist Glenn Greenwald, writing on Salon.com, pointed out that passing it would be an act of hypocrisy, particularly because it has been framed as a step toward protecting anti-corruption whistleblowers in Russia. “This is the same Sen. Benjamin Cardin who has also introduced legislation that, if enacted, would be the most severe attack on whistleblowers in the United States in the last several decades at least,” Greenwald wrote. “…Cardin’s bill would turn virtually all whistleblowing into a felony punishable by decades in prison.” срочный займ на карту онлайн hairy woman https://zp-pdl.com https://zp-pdl.com/get-a-next-business-day-payday-loan.php займ онлайн

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