The US Congress is going to pair the Magnitsky Act with the Russian Trade Bill to pass the two together.
The bill provides for abolishing the Jackson-Vanik Amendment, which was adopted against the USSR as a move to restrict trade with the countries that prevented emigration, above all Jewish emigration. A moratorium on the amendment has been in force in recent years, but it’s not been officially repealed. But the new bill includes provisions of the so-called Magnitsky Act, which imposes visa sanctions against Russian functionaries who Washington feels were involved in the death of the lawyer of Britain’s Hermitage Capital Management investment fund, Sergei Magnitsky, in November 2009.
The Russian Foreign Ministry feels that the linking of the two bills is an attempt to adopt an anti-Russian law, which would seriously damage the two countries’ relations.