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

Video Indiana Controversy Points to Divergent Notions of Religious Freedom

Gay-marriage opponents are looking for ways to maintain their beliefs in face of changing culture, one writer says More

UNICEF Denies North Korean Measles Outbreak

Agency dismisses Russian media report after government, WHO assurances More

Turkey Seen Taking Harder Stance Against Militant Kurds

Stance comes as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is being seen as moving closer to generals More

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.
Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedomi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 01, 2015 1:41 AM
Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Nigerians Welcome Buhari's Return to Power

Crowds of jubilant Nigerians nationwide have celebrated the return to power of former military ruler Muhammadu Buhari. The retired army general won this year's presidential election with more than 2 million votes more than incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan. Buhari's supporters hope he can strengthen the country's economy and security once he takes office in late May. Zlatica Hoke has this story.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Gamma Ray Observatory to Open Soon in Mexico

American and Mexican scientists have completed construction of the world's largest gamma ray observatory, situated high in central Mexico’s Sierra Negra Mountain. The observatory's huge array of water-based detectors will soon start discovering secrets about black holes and supernovas. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Islamic State Prisoners Talk of Curiosity, God, Regret

Islamic State fighter, a prisoner of Kurdish YPG forces, asked his family asking for forgiveness: "I destroyed myself and I destroyed them along with me." The Syrian youth was one of two detainees who spoke to VOA’s Kurdish Service about the path they chose; their names have been changed and identifying details obscured. VOA's Zana Omer reports.
Video

Video Germanwings Findings Raise Issue of Psychological Testing for Pilots

More is being discovered about the co-pilot in the crash of Germanwings Flight 9525 in the French Alps. Investigators say he was hiding a medical condition, raising questions about the mental qualifications of pilots. VOA's Carolyn Presutti reports.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More