Bloomberg News

Russia Says U.S. Human-Rights Sanctions Bill to Harm Ties

May 15, 2012

Russia warned that a U.S. bill imposing sanctions against Russian officials suspected of human- rights abuses will harm relations between the two countries.

Such a law would be “a gross interference in Russian internal affairs and, of course, it won’t have any positive effect on U.S.-Russian ties, to put it mildly,” Konstantin Dolgov, the Foreign Ministry’s human-rights representative, told reporters in Moscow today.

A bipartisan group of U.S. lawmakers has proposed legislation that would impose travel and financial restrictions on any official abusing human rights in Russia, including 60 people suspected of involvement in the death of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail in 2009.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry last month warned it would retaliate with unspecified measures against the law. The State Department has said there is “a desire and an interest to make this a matter of law” in Congress and that the Obama administration is discussing the issue as it seeks lawmakers’ support to repeal a 1974 law that restricted trade with the former Soviet Union.

The so-called Jackson-Vanik amendment’s continued existence will penalize U.S. companies doing business in Russia after it joins the World Trade Organization later this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Henry Meyer in Moscow at hmeyer4@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Balazs Penz at bpenz@bloomberg.net


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