Putin warns US over impending Magnitsky blacklist


Putin responded to US sanctions against Russian officials by banning Americans from adopting Russian children.


Mikhail Klimentyev

A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin warned Washington against the impending publication of the so-called Magnitsky blacklist, which will make public the names of Russian officials barred from entering the United States over allegations of human rights violations.

Dmitry Peskov told Sky News that the "appearance of any lists will doubtless have a very negative effect on bilateral Russian-American relations."

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"At the same time, these bilateral relations are very multifaceted," he added, "and even under the burden of such possible negative manifestations... they still have many prospects for further development and growth."

Passed by Congress last year, the Magnitsky Act blacklists Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail in 2009 under mysterious circumstances after he accused officials of stealing millions of dollars from the state.

The names are set to be made public Friday. Those listed have seen their American bank accounts frozen and will be denied US entry visas.

Russia retaliated by banning Americans from adopting Russian children. Moscow has also drafted its own "Dima Yakovlev" law, which will blacklist 104 US officials accused of human rights violations, RT.com reported. Their names will be released after Washington makes its own blacklist public.