Home World Europe News Magnitsky List: Russia publishes similar list in response to US document

Magnitsky List: Russia publishes similar list in response to US document

Russia has decided to publish a list of 18 US officials barred from the country, in response to a similar list published by the US Treasury on Friday.

A Russian statement described the US move as a severe blow to relations, and said blackmail could not be ignored.

The US published its list under an act – Magnitsky Sanctions Listings – named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky who died in jail in 2009 in disputed circumstances.

The list includes officials who jailed Sergei Magnitsky after he accused them of corruption.

Senior officials from President Vladimir Putin’s entourage who had been expected to be included were left off, including Russia’s top police official Alexander Bastrykin.

Russia’s list, announced by the foreign ministry, includes two former Bush administration officials who are said to have advocated harsh interrogation techniques and two former commanders of the detention centre at Guantanamo Bay.

David Addington, chief of staff to former Vice-President Dick Cheney is one of them.


Sergei Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million from the state

Sergei Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million from the state

The other 14 were named as having violated the rights of Russian citizens abroad.

“The war of lists is not our choice, but we cannot ignore outright blackmail,” a statement from the Russian ministry said.

“It’s time for Washington politicians to finally understand that there are no prospects in building relations with a country like Russia with the spirit of mentoring and undisguised dictating.”

Russia’s Itar-Tass news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov as saying there was also a secret section to the list with more names, as the US list had.

A Russian law barring Americans from adopting Russian orphans, regarded as a response to the US law, has already been passed.

The final US list published on Friday included people born in Russia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan and Uzbekistan, 16 of them linked to the Magnitsky case. Some 250 names had originally been put forward by US politicians.

The others are officials deemed to have participated in recent Kremlin moves to restrict Russians’ political rights.

Sergei Magnitsky was arrested in 2008 for tax evasion after accusing Russian police officials of stealing $230 million from the state through fraudulent tax rebates. His family and rights groups say he was badly beaten and denied medical treatment in custody.

The Magnitsky Act passed by Washington in 2012 blacklists Russian officials accused of involvement in his death. All the names on the list had until Friday been kept secret.

Those affected by the American measures have had their US accounts frozen and have been added to a list of people who will be denied US entry visas. Some European nations are taking similar measures.

Correspondents say that the argument threatens to cast a shadow over a visit to Russia by President Barack Obama’s National Security adviser Tom Donilon, who is to hold high-level talks in Moscow on Monday.

The posthumous trial of Sergei Magnitsky – who died in 2009 aged 37 in pre-trial detention after developing pancreatitis – opened in Moscow in March but was adjourned shortly afterwards.

Legal experts say they are unaware of any precedents for the trial of a dead man in Russian history.

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