Russian FM to discuss rights protection with parliament deputies

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will on Thursday attend a meeting of the State Duma international committee to discuss protection of Russian nationals’ rights abroad, committee head Konstantin Kosachyov said.

A bill banning entry to Russia for foreign officials who have violated the rights of Russian citizens was introduced to the lower house of parliament on Tuesday. Under the bill, the officials’ accounts in Russian banks, both domestic and foreign branches, would also be frozen.

The initiative came as the United States is considering sanctions on Russian officials implicated in the prison death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in line with the so-called Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011.

Kosachyov said earlier this week that Russian legislation lacks an effective tool to protect Russian citizens abroad.

The arrests of suspected arms dealer Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko – a pilot found guilty of smuggling drugs into the United States – by U.S. police in third countries with subsequent extradition to Washington were held up as examples of the violation of Russians’ rights abroad.

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