Russia bars US officials to take revenge over Magnitsky case

 

Moscow

Russia has drawn up a list of Americans who are banned from entering the country, in a tit-for-tat response to a US move to blacklist dozens of Russian officials accused of involvement in the death of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

During Barack Obama's presidency, relations between Moscow and Washington have undergone a much-vaunted "reset", but the Magnitsky case is aggravating tension, with Moscow furious at what it sees as pressure and interference in its internal affairs.

Sergey Ryabkov, Russia's deputy foreign minister, told the respected daily Kommersant yesterday that Russia's retaliatory list would include "people who cause problems in Russian-American relations".

Another source in the foreign ministry told the paper that the list involved "people who took part in the cases against, for example, Viktor Bout and Konstantin Yaroshenko".

Mr Bout was extradited to the US from Thailand in November 2010 on suspicion of weapons trafficking, after being arrested when he allegedly offered to sell weapons to US agents posing as Colombian rebels. He has denied all the charges and says he is a legitimate businessman.

Mr Yaroshenko, a cargo pilot, was detained last year in Liberia and was convicted in April by an American court of attempting to smuggle drugs into the US via Latin America. Russia says that that the Americans essentially kidnapped Mr Yaroshenko and extradited him from a third country without their permission.

The exact names of the people on the Russian list have not been made public, and the popular Russian website Snob joked that it was possible that Nicholas Cage was among the people placed on the Russian blacklist. The Hollywood actor played a shady arms dealer loosely based on the character of Mr Bout in the 2005 film Lord of War.

The original American list contains officials from the interior ministry and prosecutor's office implicated in Mr Magnitsky's death. He died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after being charged with helping the investment fund Hermitage Capital evade taxes. He denied the charges, and his supporters say they were trumped up by corrupt officials trying to cover up an enormous tax fraud that the lawyer had uncovered.

William Browder, the founder and chief executive of Hermitage, has accused Russia of attempting to cover for those behind the alleged fraud, and said yesterday it was cynical to equate the cases of Mr Bout and Mr Yaroshenko with the Magnitsky case.

"Now that the US government is banning those torturers and murderers involved in the Magnitsky case from coming to the US, instead of prosecuting any of the key people involved, the Russians are retaliating by imposing their own sanctions on US officials prosecuting Russian arms dealers and drug smugglers," Mr Browder said.

Labour MP Chris Bryant told The Independent yesterday that he believes the Russian officials on the US blacklist should also be banned from the UK. "I have provided a list to the Home Office and strongly pushed that they should not allow any of these people visas to the UK," he said.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
News
A survey carried out by Sainsbury's Finance found 20% of new university students have never washed their own clothes, while 14% cannot even boil an egg
science...and the results are not as pointless as that sounds
News
politicsIs David Cameron trying to prove he's down with the kids?
News
Cumberbatch was speaking on US television when he made the comment (Getty)
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Maintenance & IT Assistant

£20200 - £24800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Senior PHP Developer - Zend Framework

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This number one supplier of Coo...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Forecast Analyst

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Sales Forecast Analyst is required to join a...

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Day In a Page

Woman who was sent to three Nazi death camps describes how she escaped the gas chamber

Auschwitz liberation 70th anniversary

Woman sent to three Nazi death camps describes surviving gas chamber
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea