Russia makes list of ‘undesirable’ US officials

October 23rd, 2011 - 8:35 am ICT by IANS  

Moscow, Oct 23 (IANS/RIA Novosti) Russia has completed a list of “undesirable” American individuals who will be refused entry into the country in response to a similar list by the US that blacklists Russian officials linked to the death of a lawyer, an official said.

The US’ “Magnitsky List” links Russian officials to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said Saturday.

“We, of course, have not left the political provocation against our country unanswered. On the principle of reciprocity, we have confirmed a list of US citizens whose entry into the Russian Federation is undesirable,” Lukashevich said.

Magnitsky was arrested and jailed without trial in November 2008, and died in police custody a year later after being denied medical care. The 37-year-old lawyer was working for Hermitage Capital Management, a British-based investment fund, when he accused tax and police officials of carrying out a $230-million tax scam.

In July 2011, the US State Department banned visas for about 60 Russian officials over their involvement in the detention and death of Magnitsky.

Lukashevich said the Russian list contains “highly-appointed Washington officials tied to crimes in the the humanitarian sphere”.

“The names of those who are responsible for wrongful actions against Russian citizens in the US, who sanctioned (those actions) and were personally involved in their kidnapping and mockery are known. Those names have also of course been added to the list (of barred entry) into Russia,” a statement said.

“If the American side follows a path of visa confrontation, we will have to expand that list,” Lukashevich said.

–IANS/RIA Novosti

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