Russia views U.S. Magnitsky Act as unfriendly, provocative step - diplomat

The adoption by the U.S. House of Representatives and the consideration by the U.S. Senate of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act is a selective measure against a number of Russian citizens, Russian Foreign Ministry envoy for human rights, democracy and the rule of law Konstantin Dolgov said at a news conference in Moscow on Wednesday.

"We have already assessed this initiative as an absolutely unfriendly and doubtlessly provocative and unilateral step, which is certainly aimed at infringing upon the rights of a certain category of Russian citizens. This is a selective measure, and there can be no two ways about this," Dolgov said.

All judgments Russia earlier made on the issue remain valid, Dolgov said. "The Senate has not voted yet. As for the measures, it seems to me this issue has been thoroughly commented on at all levels of government. The response will be given in a form in which it is found reasonable,"he said.

It was reported earlier that the U.S. Senate plans on Wednesday to start considering the Magnitsky Act, which was earlier passed by the U.S. House of Representatives. The Senate hearings are scheduled to start at 7:00 p.m. Moscow time.

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