MOSCOW, April 14 (RIA Novosti) – The publication by the United States of a blacklist of Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky is a “blow” to bilateral relations and interference in Russia’s domestic affairs, the Russian presidential spokesman said on Sunday.
“The adoption of the Magnitsky list has harmed the Russian-US bilateral relations, it is a blow to bilateral Russia-US relations,” Dmitry Peskov said on the Sunday Night with Vladimir Solovyov program on Rossiya-1 television.
He said that the “blow” was dealt while the world situation and the number of regional conflicts signal “the necessity of rapprochement between Russia and the United States,” adding that both countries are “responsible for the global stability and security.”
Peskov said the Magnitsky List is a “direct interference in Russia’s domestic affairs.” “The Magnitsky case should not be discussed outside Russia, it is intolerable for us and we will never agree with this,” the Kremlin spokesman said.
Russia published on Saturday its own list of US officials banned from Russia in response to the US list of Russian officials facing visa and financial sanctions under the Magnitsky Act.
Like the US list, the Russian list comprises 18 names.
Four are listed as having been connected with the US infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, which has seen numerous allegations of abuse and torture by prisoners and rights groups. The rest of the US officials on the list are mostly described as prosecutors and special agents, and are accused of having violated the rights of Russians abroad.
The US list, which lists Russians that Washington deems complicit in human rights abuses, was published on Friday. The Russians listed will be unable to enter the US and any assets they own there will be frozen.
Magnistky, who worked for the British-based Hermitage Capital investment fund, was 37 when he died in a pre-detention facility in November 2009 – almost one year after being arrested on charges of tax evasion. His arrest came after he had accused Interior Ministry officials of involvement in a $230-million embezzlement scheme.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.