Topic: Magnitsky List Dispute
WASHINGTON, December 5 (RIA Novosti) - The US Senate will consider on Wednesday a bill which links normalized trade relations with Russia to the so-called “Magnitsky Act,” introducing sanctions for Russian officials deemed to have violated human rights, according to the Senate’s official schedule.
According to the December 5 schedule, the Senate will gather to debate the bill at 23:00 Moscow time [19:00 GMT]. The session is due to end on Wednesday evening [early on Thursday in Moscow].
The legislation simultaneously repeals the Jackson-Vanik restrictions on trade with Russia dating back to 1974 and introduces the Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act imposing visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials allegedly involved in the torture and death of a 37-year-old Russian anti-corruption lawyer, Sergei Magnitsky, as well as in other gross human rights abuses in Russia.
The bill was passed by the House of Representatives on November 16 and is expected to be approved by the Senate. It will then be sent to President Barack Obama for signing.
Obama has opposed linking the Magnitsky Act to normalizing trade ties with Russia, but is expected to sign the legislation into law.
Russia called the measure “unfriendly and provocative” and warned that a “tough” response would be forthcoming.
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The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.