The “Magnitsky list” is prepared for a reset

Russia Today

It is being proposed to extend sanctions to all human rights violators.

The US Congress has come close to the adoption of a bill imposing visa and economic sanctions against individuals responsible for human rights violations. The reason for the expedited review of this document is what the US is calling the “unfree and unfair” State Duma election. Experts warn that if the law is adopted, this will be a much greater blow to the “reset” between Moscow and Washington than disagreements on any other issues.

The Subcommittee on European Affairs of the US Foreign Relations Committee has held hearings on the state of human rights in Russia. The reason for the hearings was the State Duma election, which the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, characterized as “unfree and unfair.” The main topic at the hearings was the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011, introduced in Congress in May by Ben Cardin (D-MD) and John McCain (R–AZ). It imposes visa sanctions and seizure of financial assets of individuals responsible for human rights violations in the RF.

The core of the bill is the “Magnitsky list”, which includes 60 people who, according to Washington, are responsible for the death of the Hermitage Capital lawyer, Sergey Magnitsky. They include staff members of the FSB, high and mid-ranking police officers, prison wardens and doctors, prosecutors, tax auditors and inspectors.

However, the Cardin-McCain bill proposes extending this list to any other individual “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights committed against individuals seeking to expose illegal activity carried out by officials of the Government of the Russian Federation; or to obtain, exercise, defend, or promote internationally recognized human rights and freedoms, such as the freedoms of religion, expression, association, and assembly and the rights to a fair trial and democratic elections”.

The current subcommittee hearings in the Senate are the third of a total of five steps of the bill’s passage through Congress. The next steps will include a review in the US Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and voting. This means that the document could be adopted in the coming months.

Carnegie Center expert, Aleksey Malashenko, told Kommersant that adoption of the law would be a serious blow to the Russia-US reset: “It will be even worse than the Jackson-Vanik amendment. It is already a part of history, while the Magnitsky Act applies to the present day,” explained the expert, adding that adoption of the law “will make it possible for the US to brand an unlimited number of people, down to the Russian leadership.” Earlier, Russian foreign minister, Sergey Lavrov, warned that the US senators’ actions “go beyond the bounds of decency and are interference into Russia’s internal affairs.”

Nevertheless, the document has already been supported by 26 influential senators from both parties. Based on the attitudes of the participants in previous hearings, the support level will only rise. “The reset has ended in failure. In essence, it has boiled down to attempts to appease Russia,” said John Barrasso (R-WY). “Russia, in turn, is trying to undermine the US missile defense, is continuing to occupy the Georgian territories, and is supplying arms to the Syrian authorities. Its government has become mired in corruption; its leaders continue to violate human rights, ignoring principles of the rule of law and freedom of speech.”

Mr. Barrasso was seconded by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). “Despite the fact that we are cooperating with Russia in the sphere of our common interests, we need new tools to put pressure on the Russian leadership, where our opinions differ,” she suggested. “One such tool could be the Magnitsky Act. I welcome the measures taken by the State Department (which blacklisted 11 people in the Magnitsky case – Kommersant), but hope that we could achieve more.”

The president of the Freedom House, David Kramer, who spoke at the hearings, expressed the opinion that “already at the development stages, the Magnitsky Act has provided more tangible results than US administrations’ efforts over the last 20 years combined. No other initiative has resulted in such an active reaction from Moscow,” explained Mr. Kramer. “People responsible for human rights violations have, for the first time, felt the reality of the fact that they and their families will no longer enjoy the privileges of traveling to civilized countries, being educated there, and holding assets in Western banks.”

However, experts doubt that the bill will become law. “US lawmakers won’t go as far as to completely undermine relations with Moscow and burn all bridges,” Aleksey Malashenko told Kommersant. “Though, they will continue to threaten us.” займ онлайн на карту без отказа быстрые займы онлайн https://zp-pdl.com/apply-for-payday-loan-online.php https://zp-pdl.com займы онлайн на карту срочно

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