US, Russia Trade Sanctions as Tensions Rise

Both Sides to Bar One Another's Human Rights Criminals

The Senate’s decision to pass the Magnitsky Act, seizing the assets of Russian officials and banning them access to the US if they were involved in the detention and eventual death of millionaire investor Sergei Magnitsky has prompted a retaliatory bill from the Russian government.

The Russian Foreign Ministry says a bill that is advancing through the Duma will bar any Americans guilty of human rights violations from entering Russia. Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov warned that the moves threaten to deleteriously effect bilateral ties.

The Magnitsky Act, which came together at a time when US officials were initially talking up normalizing trade ties with Russia and ended up doing the opposite, calls on the US to formally name those impacted. It is unclear from Russian comments whether they will release a similar list for their sanctions.

The Obama Administration had initially come out against adding the act to the broader trade bill, saying it was “redundant,” but it gained considerable support in Congress and passed with large margins.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of