U.S. National Security Advisor Thomas Donilon has chosen an unsuitable moment for visiting Russia, said Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the International Affairs Committee of the Russian State Duma, the lower house of parliament.
"Obama's aide Donilon will be the first to feel the brunt of the U.S. blacklists tomorrow. He is arriving in Russia at an unsuitable moment," Pushkov wrote on Twitter on Sunday.
Reports said earlier that Donilon's visit to Moscow is starting on Sunday.
Pushkov said on Saturday that by releasing the Magnitsky List the United States created an unfavorable backdrop for Donilon's visit to Russia.
"The U.S. has created a very negative background for Mr. Donilon's arrival," Pushkov told Interfax on Saturday.
Some information indicates that a message that Donilon is supposed to pass to the Russian president will say about the need to continue the reset of Russian-U.S. relations and promote contacts, Pushkov said. However, the publication of the Magnitsky list goes against these intentions, he said.
The publication of this list and regular anti-Russian remarks by some U.S. policymakers, including members of the U.S. Congress and Senate, inevitably has a negative effect on Russian-U.S. relations, he said.
Reports said earlier that the U.S. released the so-called Magnitsky List penalizing 18 Russians for alleged rights abuses, most of them law enforcement officials who, according to its authors, were involved in the probe into the criminal case against Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
The Russian Foreign Ministry retaliated on Saturday by rereleasing its own list of 18 U.S. citizens denied entry to Russia. "Unlike the U.S. list compiled arbitrarily, our list includes primarily those responsible for legalizing torture and unlimitedly holding convicts at the Guantanamo special prison, arresting and abducting Russian citizens in third countries, and endangering their lives and health," the Russian Foreign Ministry said.
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