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 Russia bans Americans in retaliation over Magnitsky Act

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Posts : 1
Join date : 2013-04-13

PostSubject: Russia bans Americans in retaliation over Magnitsky Act   Sat Apr 13, 2013 9:26 am

The US Treasury on Friday named 18 Russians who are subject to visa bans and asset freezes in the US, including 16 people connected to the case of Mr Magnitsky, who died in jail in 2009 after exposing a $230m (£149m) tax fraud, which pointed the finger at a string of Russian officials.

Mr Magnitsky was a former employee of London-based fund manager, William Browder, founder of Hermitage Capital Management, who in 1996 moved from the UK to Russia to invest in newly privatised countries in Eastern Europe only to discover large-scale financial fraud.

Russia on Saturday took revenge for the ban against its own citizens, accusing the US of "outright blackmail" and branding a law passed by America at the end of last year - the Magnitsky Act - "absurd".

"The war of lists is not our choice, but we cannot ignore outright blackmail," Russia's foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that the Magnitsky Act was an intervention into its domestic affairs and had delivered a "strong blow to bilateral relations".

Russia alleges the 18 names on its own list include people who are "implicated in legalisation of torture and perpetual detentions in Guantanamo prison, to the arrests and kidnapping of Russian citizens".

"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 foreign ministry said.

Mr Magnitsky died in prison in 2009 before his case had been heard. He was arrested and charged by many of the same officials he had accused of participating in the $230m tax fraud.
His former employer, Mr Browder, a British citizen but American by birth, has since launched a global campaign to avenge his death.

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