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Sun Dec 9, 2012, 12:00 PM

Russian assembly set for tough response to U.S. rights bill

Source: Reuters

Russian assembly set for tough response to U.S. rights bill

By Nastassia Astrasheuskaya
MOSCOW | Sun Dec 9, 2012 9:53am EST

(Reuters) - Russia's foreign minister urged parliament on Sunday to agree a tough response to a U.S. law punishing Russian human rights violators, increasing the risk of a chill in relations with Washington.

Moscow announced restrictions on meat imports from the United States on Friday although it denied suggestions it had done so in response to the U.S. Senate's passage a day earlier of the so-called Magnitsky Act.

Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the parliament should now respond and Alexei Pushkov, a senior parliamentary deputy from President Vladimir Putin's party, said the State Duma lower house would discuss retaliatory measures this week.

"As this is an attempt to interfere in our internal affairs, I would be very interested in a reaction by the state Duma that would be collective, on a multi-party basis and representing all party groups," Lavrov said in televised remarks.

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Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/12/09/us-russia-usa-idUSBRE8B61CK20121209

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