Report: Russia's Lavrov warns US over human rights law

By REUTERS
June 30, 2012 14:55

MOSCOW - Russia has warned the United States that their relations would suffer "serious damage" if Washington adopts a bill to penalize Russian officials for human rights abuses, a state news agency reported on Saturday.

Itar-Tass said Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov stressed to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at talks on Friday in St Petersburg that "the possible endorsement in the United States of the 'Magnitsky law' will bring serious damage to relations between our countries."The Russian Foreign Ministry had no comment on the report.

The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week passed the "Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act", named after a Russian anti-corruption lawyer whose death in 2009 while in pre-trial detention drew widespread condemnation.

The bill would deny visas and freeze the assets of Russians suspected of involvement in his death.

Despite broad support in Congress, the bill's future remains uncertain, partly because the U.S. administration is unenthu


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