Topic: Magnitsky List Dispute
WASHINGTON, December 6 (RIA Novosti) - The US Senate is scheduled to vote on the “Magnitsky Act,” which in particular targets purported human rights violators in Russia, on Thursday, according to a statement posted on the website of the Senate Democrats on Wednesday.
“There will now be up to 5 hours for debate. Tomorrow, Thursday, December 6, at a time to be determined by the Majority Leader, after consultation with the Republican Leader, there will be up to 10 minutes for debate. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will proceed to vote on passage of the bill,” the statement runs.
The bill before the Senate on Wednesday would simultaneously repeal the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik restrictions on trade with Russia, establish normalized bilateral trade relations with Moscow, and introduce visa bans and asset freezes targeting Russian officials considered by the White House to be involved in the death of Russian whistleblower lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, as well as other purported violators of human rights in Russia.
The language of the bill mirrors that of a version passed by the US House of Representatives last month. It is widely expected to pass in the Senate and be signed into law by US President Barack Obama, who, however, has opposed linking the “Magnitsky Act” to normalizing trade ties with Russia.
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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.