MOSCOW, December 23 (RIA Novosti) – Members of Russia’s State Duma warned on Sunday that serious consequences may follow if the US petition to make Russian lawmakers accountable under the Magnitsky Act is enacted.
“If this goes to its logic end and we start extending the lists from both sides ad infinitum, this could spark very serious diplomatic wars, which nobody needs,” said Vyacheslav Nikonov, first deputy chair of the State Duma Committee on international relations.
The petition was posted on the White House website on December 21 and has gained the required 25,000 signatures within just two days. By Sunday afternoon, 26,750 people have signed it. It says that the Russian lawmakers have “breached all imaginable boundaries of humanity, responsibility, or common sense and chose to jeopardize lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans.”
“This scandal is very serious, but makes absolutely no sense. This is a kind of safe Cold War from their side and this will bring no good to the relations,” Dmitry Vyatkin, deputy head of the Duma’s Constitution and State Affairs Committee, said
“If they set limits to the entry of the State Duma or the Federation Council members, the counter measure will be banning the Congress members from entering Russia,” Vyatkin said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council, Svetlana Orlova said the Russian senators are not afraid of being blacklisted by the United States for voting in favor of the US adoptions ban.
“No one is afraid. We will vote truly and honestly and we will support this bill,” Orlova said.
A total of 420 Russian lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, written as a retaliatory response to the US Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations. The Russian bill is nearly identical. It imposes sanctions on Americans accused of human rights violations, but it also imposes a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.
The bill could come into effect in January once approved by the Federation Council and signed by the president. The Federation Council is expected to vote on the bill on December 26.