WASHINGTON, December 5 (RIA Novosti) – The US Senate on Wednesday is set to consider a version of the “Magnitsky Act” that targets only Russian officials deemed by Washington to be complicit in human rights abuses.
The earlier version of the proposed Senate bill extended the US visa bans and asset freezes mandated in the legislation to other countries as well.
“This bill may only apply to Russia, but it sets a standard that should be applied globally,” Sen. Benjamin Cardin, the author of the “Magnitsky Act,” said in a statement Tuesday evening. “I encourage other nations to follow our lead.”
The bill before the Senate on Wednesday would simultaneously repeal the Cold War-era Jackson-Vanik restrictions on trade with Russia, establish normalized bilateral trade relations with Moscow, and introduce visa bans and asset freezes targeting Russian officials considered by the White House to be involved in the death of Russian whistleblower lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, as well as other purported violators of human rights in Russia.
The language of the bill mirrors that of a version passed by the US House of Representatives last month. It is widely expected to pass in the Senate and be signed into law by US President Barack Obama.
The decision to link the rights legislation to the trade bill has angered Russia, which has promised retaliatory measures aimed at the United States.