MOSCOW - Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday criticized US legislation designed to punish Russian violators of human rights, calling it a "purely political, unfriendly act."

Putin spoke one week after the US Senate approved a bill that would require the United States to deny visas and freeze the assets of people involved in the abuse and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in a Moscow jail in 2009, and other alleged rights violators.

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