Russia Threatens Tough Response If U.S. Backs Rights Bill [View all]
By Steve Gutterman
MOSCOW | Thu Nov 15, 2012 10:48am EST
(Reuters) - Russia warned the United States on Thursday to expect a tough response if Congress passes "unfriendly and provocative" legislation designed to punish Russian officials for human rights violations.
The Foreign Ministry said U.S.-Russian ties were sure to suffer if lawmakers back a move directing the U.S. government to deny visas to Russian officials involved in the detention, abuse or death of Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who died in jail in 2009.
"Such a step will unavoidably have a negative effect on the whole range of Russian-U.S. relations," Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich told a news briefing.
"We will certainly not leave the introduction of essentially anti-Russian visa and financial sanctions without consequences," he said. "We will have to react, and react toughly, depending on the final version of this unfriendly provocative act."