He cautioned Washington that Russia’s list of banned US officials may be “quite impressive in size" if it were to include all “hangmen” responsible for torturing inmates in Guantanamo Bay, Abu Ghraib and secret CIA prisons scattered across the world, plus all American nationals committing human rights crimes in the Middle East and elsewhere, Mr. Margelov said in a Friday interview to Russia’s Interfax news agency.
He said that, by approving the Magnitsky bill, US senators signaled to the world they "weren't above a selective approach."
Viktor Ozerov, Federation Council’s defense and security head, has described the now Magnitsky law as an obstacle in the way of US-Russia relations.
The Russian Parliament’s lower house, the State Duma, is preparing to respond to the adoption of the “Magnitsky Act” by the US Congress.
The Duma will shortly consider a law on banning foreigners violating human rights from entering Russia, according to the first deputy Chairman of the Duma Foreign Affairs Committee, Vyacheslav Nikonov.
According to the official, both US officials and functionaries from other countries who are unwelcome in Russia will be put on the lists of people declared persona non grata.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said earlier that Russia would close the border to US citizens who breach human rights, in retaliation for the approval by the US Senate of a list of people whom the US sees as responsible for the death of a Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and whom it slaps visa and financial sanctions on.
Sergei Magnitsky died at a pretrial detention centre three years ago.
Russia will respond to Thursday's passage by the US Senate of the so-called Magnitsky Act by barring entry for Americans, deemed by Moscow as human rights abusers.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov voiced the prospect when commenting on the results of his talks in Dublin with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On Thursday the US Senate passed a bill imposing visa restrictions on Russian officials accused by US lawmakers of human rights violations.
The Russian Foreign Ministry brands as “absurd” Thursday’s decision by the US Senate to pass the Magnitsky Act, which imposes visa and financial restrictions on Russian officials deemed by Washington to have violated human rights, along with a landmark trade bill with Russia.
“Either Washington has forgotten what year it is or it thinks that the Cold War is not over yet,” the ministry said in a statement, adding that the senators are ignoring the obvious fact that any country can deny visas to anyone without enacting special legislation.
“We do not want to give up on the progress in bilateral relations reached over the past few years, but we believe the Magnitsky Act will reflect very negatively on the prospects of our future cooperation,” the statement notes.
Russia’s response to the recent approval of the Magnitsky Act can be harsh and acute, the head of Russia’s Duma Foreign Affairs Committee Alexei Pushkov stated Thursday after the US had passed the controversial bill imposing sanctions on a number of Russian officials.
Pushkov also said that Russia’s response could be legislative.
The US Senate passed the combined Magnitsky-Jackson-Vanik trade and human rights bill Thursday.
The bill envisages sanctions on Russian officials allegedly linked to the 2009 death of the Hermitage Group lawyer Sergey Magnitsky in a pre-trial detention center as well as other human rights violators. At the same time it cancels the JV amendment which imposed trade restrictions on the USSR back in 1974 due to its emigration policy.
The Senate approved a version envisaging sanctions only against Russians, and not the earlier proposed draft which imposed sanctions on human rights abusers all over the world.
Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA, Interfax