Russia bans US officials in tit-for-tat visa row

By REUTERS
October 22, 2011 12:45




MOSCOW - Russia has banned some US officials from visiting the country in response to US visa restrictions imposed on Russian officials over the death in prison death of hedge fund lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Saturday.

"On the basis of reciprocity, the list of US citizens whose stay in the Russian Federation was considered undesirable was approved," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said on the ministry's website.

The ministry declined to comment when contacted by Reuters.

Lukashevich said the list included "high-ranking officials accessorial to ... crimes", such as "de facto legalised tortures in American special jails, kidnapping ... continuous imprisonment of detainees in Guantanamo, uninvestigated killings of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The US State Department said in July it had placed visa restrictions on Russian officials accused of involvement Magnitsky's death in a Russian prison as he awaited trial on tax evasion and fraud charges in 2009.


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