July 9, 2012
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin once again voiced his concerns over a U.S. bill penalizing Russian officials for human rights abuses and Washington’s plans for a missile defense system based in Europe, in a wide-ranging speech to Russia’s diplomats on Monday summarizing Russian foreign policy.
“The swap of the anti-Soviet Jackson-Vanik amendment for an anti-Russian law as well as [Washington’s] course for violating the strategic balance by creating missile defenses cannot but worry us,” he said.
Last month, a U.S. Senate panel unanimously passed the “Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act,” named after a Russian lawyer who died in custody in 2009.
The bill would impose a travel ban and asset freeze on Russian officials linked to Magnitsky’s jailing and death, as well as other human rights abusers in Russia. A similar measure was passed by a House of Representatives panel in May. It has yet to go to a full House vote.
Putin said the solution of “many global and regional problems” depended on Russia-U.S. relations, adding he has been “taking note” of U.S. officials’ “harsh statements” about Russia
One such area of disagreement is Syria, where the warring sides should be encouraged to achieve a political settlement through dialogue, Putin said.
This article was posted: Monday, July 9, 2012 at 9:20 am