Speaking about the threats of the European Parliament to adopt "Magnitsky Act," head of the Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs Alexei Pushkov said that Russia should take a tougher stance and take its own action against the countries that violate human rights.
Speaking at a plenary session of the State Duma, Pushkov noted that in the field of human rights Russia does nothing but defends its actions, and provides mirrored responses only when it is drawn into a conflict. However, neither the U.S. nor Europe has a monopoly on the protection of human rights.
According to Pushkov, the "Magnitsky Act" is an exercise in hypocrisy. Principled U.S. Congress has not mentioned any other countries, such as Egypt, where 1,000 people were killed during a suppression of a demonstration. The "Magnitsky Act" is an exercise in double standards. Recently it became apparent that secret prisons where people die operate in 54 European countries. According to Pushkov, Russia has to take sanctions against the countries that violate human rights, and not as a response so as not to give the initiative to those who accept the "Magnitsky lists."
The "Magnitsky Act," said Pushkov, is a prime example of anti-Russian policy. The law was passed on the basis of a single case, which means that the U.S. does not care about human rights, but was only concerned with the fulfillment of the political order. The U.S. is the biggest violator of human rights, which is evidenced by the global surveillance program and scandals within the U.S.
However, the deputy did not add very important points. For example, speaking of the possible adoption of the "Magnitsky Act" in Europe, the Russian Foreign Ministry warned that this would cause Russia's response. If earlier opposition journalists and bloggers were making fun of "villas in Sochi" and "accounts in the Sberank," after the imposition of sanctions against violators of human rights from the U.S. establishment they stopped laughing. It turned out that a considerable number of U.S. officials had stocks, joint ventures, and real estate in Russia. The situation is similar with European officials.
Besides, as ruled by the High Court in London, the "Magnitsky Act" is absolutely unfounded, and is solely an instrument of political pressure, particularly considering that sanctions are imposed without investigation and trial.
"The "Magnitsky Act" has introduced additional complexity in our relationship. In fact, its adoption in the U.S. was followed by retaliation and increased tension in the Russian -American relations," General Director of the Russian Council on Foreign Affairs Andrei Kortunov told Politonline.ru. He added: "I think there is just a certain group of influential politicians (especially in Congress) trying to do everything possible to somehow show their criticism of political trends in Russia." Since they have no serious opportunities to act, they resort to these measures. "The United States, like any other country in the world, has the sovereign right not to let anyone into their territory, but the decision to turn it into a political campaign and register it in the form of a decision of the supreme legislative body is dictated by political reasons, there can be no doubt," said the expert.
"The year that had passed since the signing of the "Magnitsky Act" has shown that it was purely a political decision unrelated to the issues of law, including international law. Obviously, this is a mechanism of pressure on Russia and its establishment," said the deputy of the State Duma Alexander Hinstein. "Any further expansion of this list means escalation of the conflict, which should, in my opinion, end in some sort of compromise," the parliamentarian told Politonline.ru.
Many forget that the adoption of the law enacting extrajudicial sanctions against Russian citizens is not just a tool of political pressure of the U.S. on Russia. Remember the "Jackson-Vanik amendment" of the times of the "Cold War" prohibiting high-tech trade with the Soviet Union canceled a year ago? The infamous "act", according to experts, has become a substitute for the amendment. This was publicly stated by U.S. senators and journalists as the "economic and geopolitical weapon".
Speaking about the economy, perhaps Russia should give the EU an economic answer in the event of their "act"? What could it be? "It is too trivial to talk about the price of gas for heating Europe," told Politonline.ru a top-manager of the Russian oil and gas corporation who spoke on conditions of anonymity. "Do not forget that it is Russia that pays for the work of many European institutions, such as the OSCE. Moreover, Russia invested billions and I'm sure will invest even more to support the Eurozone," he added. "There is another point that has to do with the gold reserves. Imagine that Russia abandons the euro, especially in light of the Russian-Chinese relations. Europe, frankly, would face tough times," he concluded.