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Russia threatens to wreck the reset

Posted By admin On July 27, 2011 @ 3:23 am In World News | Comments Disabled

Josh Rogin
The Cable [1]
July 26, 2011

Russia has threatened the Obama administration that it will end cooperation on Iran and prevent the transfer of material to Afghanistan if Congress passes a law criticizing Russian human rights practices.

The White House argues that the U.S.-Russian “reset” of relations has had three positive results: the New START nuclear reductions treaty, Moscow’s cooperation in sanctioning Iran, and approval (for a price) for U.S. military goods to transit Russian territory on the way to Afghanistan. But Russia is now using two of those three points as leverage to pressure the administration to get Congress not to pass a bill that would ban visas for Russian officials implicated in human rights crimes.

The legislation, called the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011, [2] is named after the anti-corruption lawyer who was tortured and died in a Russian prison in 2009. The bill targets his captors, as well as any other Russian officials “responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, or other gross violations of human rights.”

The administration admitted the Russian threats in its official comments on the bill [3], obtained by the The Cable.

“Senior Russian government officials have warned us that they will respond asymmetrically if legislation passes,” the document stated. “Their argument is that we cannot expect them to be our partner in supporting sanctions against countries like Iran, North Korea, and Libya, and sanction them at the same time. Russian officials have said that other areas of bilateral cooperation, including on transit Afghanistan, could be jeopardized if this legislation passes.”

Full article here [1]

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URLs in this post:

[1] The Cable: http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2011/07/26/russia_threatens_to_wreck_the_reset

[2] Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act of 2011,: http://foreignpolicy.com/files/fp_uploaded_documents/110520_Sergei%20Magnitsky%20Rule%20of%20Law%20Accountability%20Act%20of%202011.pdf

[3] its official comments on the bill: http://www.scribd.com/doc/60996722/Administration-Comments-on-S1039-Final

[4] Image: http://www.prisonplanet.tv/

[5] Russia-US reset cannot last forever – Lavrov: http://www.prisonplanet.com/russia-us-reset-cannot-last-forever-%e2%80%93-lavrov.html

[6] Russia threatens nuclear attack on Poland over US missile shield deal: http://www.prisonplanet.com/russia-threatens-nuclear-attack-on-poland-over-us-missile-shield-deal.html

[7] Russia threatens to seize swathe of Arctic: http://www.prisonplanet.com/russia-threatens-to-seize-swathe-of-arctic.html

[8] Boehner Says Russia Trying to Restore ‘Soviet-Style Power’: http://www.prisonplanet.com/boehner-says-russia-trying-to-restore-soviet-style-power.html

[9] Russia Threatens Preemptive Strike on NATO Facilities: http://www.prisonplanet.com/russia-threatens-preemptive-strike-on-nato-facilities.html

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