She expressed hope that a bill normalizing trade relations with Russia will be approved by the end of the year.
The passage of the so-called Magnitsky bill, now being mulled on Capitol Hill, will in no way be harmful to Russia’s security and economic interests.
Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev said on Wednesday that the intention to pass the bill was apparently prompted by domestic US problems, hence its linkage with the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which puts constraints on America’s trade ties with Russia.
The Magnitsky bill provides for sanctions against Russian officials the US believes were involved in the prison death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The US House of Representatives passed the bill on Friday ignoring repeated protests by Moscow.
Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA
Moscow will respond in kind to the adoption of the so-called “Magnitsky list” bill by creating its own list of individuals who will be banned from entering the Russian Federation. The list will include Americans implicated in the human rights abuses, Vyacheslav Nikonov, first deputy head of the Russian State Duma’s International Affairs Committee, told the Voice of Russia on Tuesday.
Approved by the US House of Representatives late last week, the Magnitsky bill will be on the Senate’s table in the near future. If the Senate gives the go-ahead to the document, it will be submitted to President Barack Obama for signing. Russia has repeatedly described as an “extremely unfriendly step” the creation of the “Magnitsky list”. Moscow will “respond adequately” to the adoption of this document, Vyacheslav Nikonov said.
"As I see it, the most coherent step would be the adoption of relevant amendments on imposing visa bans and asset freezes on certain US officials," Nikonov said.
As for the “Magnitsky list” adopted by the House of Representatives, it includes 60 Russian citizens, among them high-ranking Moscow prosecutors, Interior Ministry officials, prison guards, medics and auditors. All of them are suspected of being involved in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a pre-trial detention center in Moscow in 2009. In this connection, the Magnitsky bill slaps visa bans and asset freezes on these individuals. As for Moscow’s adequate response, it may become a list of those US individuals who are involved in the human rights violations, Vyacheslav Nikonov said.
"This list," Nikonov said, "should include those involved in torturing prisoners at Guantanamo Bay as well as those accused of committing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan and crimes against humanity in former Yugoslavia."
No hefty sums are needed to map out Russia’s adequate response to the “Magnitsky list”, which can be created without getting the go-ahead from the Russian government, Nikonov said. He added that the Russian parliament adopting the bill to this effect is just a matter of time.
Russia will take symmetrical measures in response to the so-called “Magnitsky bill” if it is approved by the U.S. Congress, Vyacheslav Nikonov, a prominent political scientist and deputy of the State Duma lower house of parliament, said on Tuesday.
He proposed a legislative amendment that that would authorize relevant government agencies to draw up a list of foreign officials barred from entering Russia for violating the Russian laws or the laws of other countries.
In the analyst’s opinion, the list should include those involved in the torture of inmates in Guantanamo or in war crimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and former Yugoslavia.
Last Friday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the “Magnitsky bill” denying U.S. entry visas to Russian officials allegedly implicated in the death of Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009, while awaiting trial for major tax evasion.
His death triggered a huge outcry in Russia and abroad.