NEWSLINK: U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations.

Memorial Flowers and Photo of Sergei Magnitsky

[U.S.-Russia ties take a hit: As the Jackson-Vanik amendment is finally repealed, the controversial Magnitsky act provokes similar legislation from Russia and may hamper U.S.-Russia relations. – Russia Beyond the Headlines – Alexander Gasyuk –
Alexander Gasyuk is Rossiyskaya Gazeta’s Washington D.C. Bureau chief
 – Dec. 14, 2012 – http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/12/14/once_again_us-russia_ties_take_a_hit_21107.html]

Russia Behind the Headlnies covers U.S. Congressional passage of the Magnitsky Act, accompanying repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment and normalization of U.S.-Russian trade:

… the provisions of the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, long linked to the trade bill, will also become law. The new sanctions against some Russian citizens could sour relations for months to come.

The linkage of the two bills was passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate despite repeated warnings from Russia’s Foreign Ministry that the bill would “negatively affect prospects of bilateral cooperation.”

During the second week of December, Moscow came up with its own legislation to be named after a Russian adopted child who died of heat stroke when his American father left him in his car for nine hours. The Dima Yakovlev Act will contain a list of categories of Americans that will not be allowed into Russia. This bill is likely to pass as well.

While the Magnitsky Act has focused on Russia specifically, rather than be global, there apparently is some question as to the breadth of its impact in relation to Russia itself:

If the Magnitsky Act is signed before the end of this year, the black list of Russian officials – deemed responsible in some way for the tragic death of attorney  Sergei Magnitsky in prison – will become public in in about 120 days. The number of American visa and financial sanctions will most likely apply to a much broader number of persons than those allegedly involved in the Magnitsky case.

The bill provides an opportunity to go after “other gross violators of human rights” and gives the chairmen and ranking members of certain congressional committees the right to send written requests to the government agencies that certain individuals be added to the “stop list.”

Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who has supported the legislation, told RBTH that “this law is much wider than just the Magnitsky list.”

“Now we have a great opportunity to put a lot of people on this list,” he said.

[Click here for full article: http://rbth.ru/articles/2012/12/14/once_again_us-russia_ties_take_a_hit_21107.html]