News / Europe

    Russia Vows Retaliation After US Human Rights Bill

    Portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail, November 20, 2009.Portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail, November 20, 2009.
    x
    Portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail, November 20, 2009.
    Portrait of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in Russian jail, November 20, 2009.
    VOA News
    Russian lawmakers have vowed to respond in kind after the U.S. Congress approved a bill imposing sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights violations.

    Officials said Monday that Russia's lower house of parliament, the State Duma, will consider imposing some sort of penalty against U.S. citizens that Moscow suspects of human rights violations.

    The Duma's international affairs committee chairman, Alexei Pushkov, said the Russian Foreign Ministry already has a confidential list of U.S. nationals who will be banned entry to Russia if lawmakers approve the sanctions. The ministry had earlier denounced the U.S. bill — known as the "Magnitsky Act" — as "an absolutely unfriendly, provocative, unilateral move."

    Last week, the U.S. Senate voted to lift trade restrictions on Russia that date back to the Cold War era, normalize trade with Moldova and impose sanctions on Russian officials accused of committing human rights violations. U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged to sign the measure, which cleared the House of Representatives last month.

    The bill is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian lawyer who was jailed after he denounced what he called a criminal ring of officials who stole $250 million in tax money. He died in prison in 2009.

    The Magnitsky Act combines two bills — the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. One part repeals a Cold War-era provision known as the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which linked favorable U.S. tariffs on Russian goods to the rights of Jews in the Soviet Union to emigrate.

    The bill also includes a provision that denies visas and freezes U.S. bank assets of Russian human rights violators. Moscow has expressed anger over the provision, warning that it would harm diplomatic relations with Washington.

    Before the vote, Russian Foreign Ministry officials said that if the measure passed, Moscow would respond in what they called an “appropriate manner."

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

    You May Like

    Vietnam Urges US to Lift Lethal Weapons Ban Amid S. China Sea Tensions

    US president’s upcoming visit to Vietnam underscores strength of relationship, and lifting embargo would reflect that trust, ambassador says

    Are US Schools Turning a Blind Eye to Radical Qatari Preachers?

    Parade of radical Islamist clerics using mosque at Qatar’s Education City draws mounting criticism for American universities that maintain satellite branches there

    Why Islamic State Is Down But Not Out

    Despite loss of territory, group’s ferocious attacks over past three months seen as testimony to its continued durability and resourcefulness

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: George from: USA
    December 11, 2012 7:41 AM
    The American people have no real problem with the Russian Government. It is just republicans trying to make someone seem as an enemy. I for one am thankful that Russia and my country are getting along as well as they are. I find the Russian people very friendly as well. I would never consider anyone from Russia my enemy because the moral lacking Congressmen say I should.

    by: Bean Cube
    December 11, 2012 6:00 AM
    Russians must impose sanctions on US against those war criminals covering up by our military and CIA. Please let us know what kinds of helps you need from us, the population of United States of America.
    In Response

    by: Henry IV from: Peterburg
    December 11, 2012 2:18 PM
    Bean Stupid,
    Before you ask what kind of help..., you should have asked Russia for what they have done in Chechen War, suppressed Pussy Cat Band, murdered Anna Polikovskaya, ... for raising their voice for freedom to against the state controlled media.

    by: Walter Johnson
    December 11, 2012 5:37 AM
    This sort of tit for tat reciprocity is common in international diplomacy and likely will be ignored by Congress, regardless of who is on Russia's list. There are indeed some American business executives who do belong on such a list of rights abusers.

    by: Gennady from: Russia, Volga Region
    December 10, 2012 8:51 PM
    The regime that rules nowadays Russia clings to power by virtue of rigged elections and doesn’t reflect the real public opinion in Russia. The majority of Russians are no longer blinded by vicious propaganda. Nevertheless the vain corrupt elite pretend to act on their behalf. Russians welcome the Magnitsky Act as genuinely friendly one and the best thing that has happened in the last years of the US-Russia’s bilateral relations. The greatest advantage of the Act is that it precisely hits at the core of Putin’s Russia woes – it’s malignant lawlessness, at the elite that is highly dependent on the West for the universities for their kids, on banks for their riches, on their luxury villas & castles ready for their retirement. The elite know there is no future for them in post-Putin’s Russia as the ground will burn under their feet.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroadi
    X
    May 02, 2016 1:36 PM
    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Displaced By War, Syrian Artist Finds Inspiration Abroad

    Saudi-born Syrian painter Mohammad Zaza is among the millions who fled their home for an uncertain future after Syria's civil war broke out. Since fleeing Syria, Zaza has lived in Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and now Turkey where his latest exhibition, “Earth is Blue like an Orange,” opened in Istanbul. He spoke with VOA about how being displaced by the Syrian civil war has affected the country's artists.
    Video

    Video Ethiopia’s Drought Takes Toll on Children

    Ethiopia is dealing with its worst drought in decades, thanks to El Nino weather patterns. An estimated 10 million people urgently need food aid. Six million of them are children, whose development may be compromised without sufficient help, Marthe van der Wolf reports for VOA from the Metahara district.
    Video

    Video Little Havana - a Slice of Cuban Culture in Florida

    Hispanic culture permeates everything in Miami’s Little Havana area: elderly men playing dominoes as they discuss politics, cigar rollers deep at work, or Cuban exiles talking with presidential candidates at a Cuban coffee window. With the recent rapprochement between Cuba and United States, one can only expect stronger ties between South Florida and Cuba.
    Video

    Video California Republicans Weigh Presidential Choices Amid Protests

    Republican presidential candidates have been wooing local party leaders in California, a state that could be decisive in selecting the party's nominee for U.S. president. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports delegates to the California party convention have been evaluating choices, while front-runner Donald Trump drew hundreds of raucous protesters Friday.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Football Team Helps War-Torn City Cope

    With the conflict still raging across much of Turkey’s predominantly Kurdish southeast, between the rebel PKK and the Turkish state, many Kurds are trying to escape the turmoil by focusing on the success of their football team Amedspor in Diyarbakir. The club is increasingly becoming a symbol for Kurds, not only in Diyarbakir but beyond. Dorian Jones reports from southeast Turkey.
    Video

    Video ‘The Lights of Africa’ - Through the Eyes of 54 Artists

    An exhibition bringing together the work of 54 African artists, one from each country, is touring the continent after debuting at COP21 in Paris. Called "Lumières d'Afrique," the show centers on access to electricity and, more figuratively, ideas that enlighten. Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, the exhibition's first stop.
    Video

    Video Pakistani School Helps Slum Kids

    Master Mohammad Ayub runs a makeshift school in a public park in Islamabad. Thousands of poor children have benefited from his services over the years, but, as VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem reports, roughly 25 million school-age youths don't get an education in Pakistan.
    Video

    Video Florida’s Weeki Wachee ‘Mermaids’ Make a Splash

    Since 1947, ‘mermaids’ have fascinated tourists at central Florida’s Weeki Wachee Springs State Park with their fluid movements and synchronized ballet. Performing underwater has its challenges, including cold temperatures and a steady current, as VOA’s Lin Yang and Joseph Mok report.
    Video

    Video Somali, African Union Forces Face Resurgent Al-Shabab

    The Islamic State terror group claimed its first attack in Somalia earlier this week, though the claim has not been verified by forces on the ground. Meanwhile, al-Shabab militants have stepped up their attacks as Somalia prepares for elections later this year. Henry Ridgwell reports there are growing frustrations among Somalia’s Western backers over the country’s slow progress in forming its own armed forces to establish security after 25 years of chaos.
    Video

    Video Documentary Tells Tale of Chernobyl Returnees

    Ukraine this week is marking the 30th anniversary of the world's worst nuclear accident, at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant. Soviet officials at first said little about the accident, but later evacuated a 2,600-square-kilometer "exclusion zone." Some people, though, came back. American directors Holly Morris and Anne Bogart created a documentary about this faithful and brave community. VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko reports from New York on "The Babushkas of Chernobyl." Carol Pearson narrates.
    Video

    Video Nigerians Feel Bite of Buhari Economic Policy

    Despite the global drop in the price of oil, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari has refused to allow the country's currency to devalue, leading to a shortage of foreign exchange. Chris Stein reports from Lagos businessmen and consumers are feeling the impact as the country deals with a severe fuel shortage.
    Video

    Video  Return to the Wild

    There’s a growing trend in the United States to let old or underused golf courses revert back to nature. But as Erika Celeste reports from one parcel in Grafton, Ohio, converting 39 hectares of land back to green space is a lot more complicated than just not mowing the fairway.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora