One should not get obsessed with Magnitsky list - First Vice Speaker of the upper house

The Federation Council believes that the adoption of the Magnitsky List by the United States will not impact Russian-U.S. strategic relations.

First Vice Speaker of the upper house Alexander Torshin said that the relations between Russia and the United States are multifaceted and Russian senators don't get obsessed with the list.

"We must admit, of course, that the adoption of the list was a decision unfriendly to us which left us with no choice," Torshin said.

On Friday evening the United States published the Magnitsky List containing 18 people, mainly law enforcers who it thinks were related to the investigation of the criminal case of the Hermitage Capital lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

On Saturday the Russian Foreign Ministry published its own list of 18 U.S. citizens who are denied entry to Russia. It noted that "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."

Torshin said that the two countries have common interests and a broad field for cooperation therefore "we should calmly regard this decision of the American side and continue building up cooperation considering the existing potential of the two countries."

"In the United States - and this should be borne in mind - not everything depends on the president whose attitude to the adoption of the list was quite reserved, unlike American lawmakers," Torshin said.

He said he closely studied the list and has a number of questions to ask in this context. "For instance, the list is topped by Lecha Bogatyryov who is suspected of murder. The list also includes Kazbek Dukuzov who was charged with the murder of U.S. reporter Paul Klebnikov. In this connection the question arises - how can concrete people be blacklisted, if there has been no court judgment in their cases," Torshin said.

In his opinion, the notorious figure of William Browder stands behind the list. "It is indicative that the list contains names of those who can give concrete testimony in the Magnitsky case, specifically about the unseemly role that Mr. Browder played in it and now these citizens are banned entry to the United States," he said.

Torshin said the list also contains the names of those who are now in litigation with Browder in London. "The situation prompts questions. Now Russia is conducting an investigation related to the issue of an IMF tranche and the purchase of Gazprom (RTS: GAZP) shares and the self-same Browder is involved in all these unpleasant cases," he said.

In this connection he concluded that with this list Browder is trying "to shout 'catch the thief' louder than everyone else considering that Russian law enforcers have very serious questions to him personally."

"Time will pass and everything will return in its place, in particular, Browder's extremely unseemly role in all these cases will be proved," Torshin believes.

As for the adoption of the Magnitsky List, in his opinion, the sides will succeed in finding a mutually-acceptable way out of the present situation so as not to cause damage to bilateral relations.

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