MOSCOW - Russia denounced as "absurd" a trade bill that passed the US Senate on Thursday with a provision to punish Russian human rights violators, and a senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow may respond with a similar law.

"The decision of the US Senate... is a performance in the theater of the absurd," the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the lower house of parliament's international affairs committee told Itar-Tass that Moscow could pass a "corresponding law".

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