Medvedev: U.S. Magnitsky Act, Russia's response do not benefit relations between countries

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has described as an intentional legal mistake the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress.

"I think that the whole situation is bad. It is not beneficial for either Russian-American relations or international law and order," he said in an interview with CNN, the transcript of which is posted on the Russian government's website.

Medvedev added that the adoption of the Magnitsky Act by the U.S. Congress was a legal mistake "that was made absolutely intentionally, deliberately because the relevant case was politicized." In these circumstances "the Russian parliament had to respond," he went on to say.

"Is that good? You know, if the situation is evaluated in its entity, I think that is bad. These are reponse measures. By the way, reponse measures are implied by international law. But it would have been better if all of this would not have happened. We have always been able and are able now to make decisions on the entry and exit of people without publicity," Medvedev said.

He said the United States could and can deny any Russian official entry to America "or check his bank accounts or something else located in America, and Russia can do the same."

"But when it is turned into a public action and Congress said: 'We will make a list with concrete names of persons involved in the crime,' what is that? It is out-of-court punishment, declaring people guilty without a court or investigation," Medvedev said.

He stressed that a whole group of people is being declared criminal.

"What about the presumption of innocence? That is impermissible. I think that our respected colleagues, respected American lawmakers did not think of that at all," the prime minister said. He added that this contradicts any law and international conventions.

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