Moscow should not pay too much attention to Washington's possible adoption of the so-called Magnitsky bill, which would penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses, Valentina Matviyenko, speaker of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia's parliament, told Interfax.
A lot is being said today that Russia could take retaliatory measures, which is a matter for the country's leadership and Foreign Ministry, she said.
"It is common in world diplomatic practice to 'mirror' unfriendly steps. But at the same time, I do not think that we should pay so much attention to this issue. It is not that important whether they adopt it or not. It is their, the Americans', problem," Matviyenko said.
"But what right do they, overseas countries, have to compile any lists without any trial or investigation?" she said.
In light of the presumption of innocence definition, the adoption of such a bill is "certainly a political decision, an unfriendly step in relation to our country," Matviyenko said.
"On the other hand, the Magnitsky bill is acting as a kind of scary story, and U.S. officials are deeply mistaken if they seriously think that any Russian political figures and civil servants are frightened. They in the United States know as well as we do that those who 'have a finger in the pie' settled in this country, as well as in London and other European capitals a long time ago," she said.
Matviyenko also suggested that the entire Magnitsky bill situation could be linked with the ongoing U.S. election campaign, which involves incumbent President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney.
"It was representatives of the Republican Party who initiated this unfortunate list," she said.
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