Ryabkov: Russian response will mirror U.S. Magnitsky bill measures, but not in quantitative terms

Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov has promised to take measures that will mirror those included in the Magnitsky bill, should it be adopted by the U.S. Congress.

"In this case, it will be possible to say that our response measures will mirror those [in the Magnitsky bill], but not in terms of the number of persons we will choose. This is not how our list will coincide with the American list, but it will coincide based on the fact that there is a whole range of situations in the U.S. where senior and other officials of this country's ministries and agencies are responsible for systematic and severe human rights violations," Ryabkov told Interfax.

Other retaliatory measures could be taken as well, he said.

"As long as the Magnitsky bill is not adopted, it is premature to speak about these steps. And we will not disclose their contents, but they will follow. It is a fact," the deputy minister said.

In addition, Ryabkov has described Russian senators' visit to the U.S. to discuss the Sergei Magnitsky case with U.S. officials as timely and useful.

 This trip, however, drew criticism from a number of U.S. congressmen, the Hermitage Capital management and the mother of Magnitsky, a Hermitage Capital lawyer, who died in a Moscow jail in 2009.

"In my opinion, the visit of the Federation Council's delegation was absolutely timely and necessary. In any case, the work done by them there was exceedingly useful because it allowed us to inform our partners there of the actual situation surrounding the inquiry both into Sergei Magnitsky's death in prison and a whole range of episodes, which our law enforcement agencies continue investigating," Ryabkov told Interfax.

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