Bill to blacklist foreigners 'fair': Russia's Lavrov

30th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Thursday threw his support behind a controversial bill that would allow the country to blacklist foreigners accused of violating Russians' rights abroad.

"We believe this move to be absolutely fair," Russian news agencies quoted Lavrov as saying, indicating it was a reciprocal measure to a bill proposed by a group of US lawmakers to punish Russian officials.

"What our lawmakers' colleagues on Capitol Hill are trying to do goes beyond the bounds of decency and constitutes an interference in our internal affairs," Lavrov added.

A group of Russian lawmakers this week submitted the controversial bill that would allow Moscow to deny entry to foreigners accused of violating Russians' rights abroad and freeze their accounts in Russian banks.

The bill is seen as a retaliatory measure to a call by a group of US lawmakers to punish a number of Russian officials deemed responsible for the death in jail of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.

Magnitsky, who worked at a Western investment fund and had been charged with tax evasion in a highly complex financial case, died in 2009 after spending a year in pre-trial detention without ever being convicted of a crime.


© 2011 AFP

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