Button with a photo of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky says, ‘We Demand

Justice.’ His death in a Russian prison, after implicating top Kremlin

officials in a complex scheme to defraud the government, is seen

as a murder-cover-up in the West.



Russian Senators Get Cold Shoulder on Capitol Hill Over Magnitsky Act (Svoboda News, Russia)


“The Russians were unable to fool their American colleagues, which will certainly annoy Russian officials. This unexpected visit shows the seriousness of the concern Moscow feels over the fact that something akin to the iron curtain will soon block corrupt Russian politicians from the world and their favorite party destinations in the West.”


-- Journalist and political analyst David Satter


By Yuri Zhigalkin


Translated By Anastassia Tapsieva


July 14, 2012


Russia - Svoboda News – Original Article (Russian)

Nataliya Magnitskaya, mother of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, at his Moscow funeral in 2009.


OSCE NEWS VIDEO: U.S. Senator John McCain encourages Europe to pass its own version of the Magnitsky Act, July 8, 00:03:48RealVideo

The unexpected appearance of four Russian senators in Washington - in an attempt to persuade American lawmakers about the legality of Sergei Magnitsky’s arrest - surprised American observers. According to them, this mission suggests how much Russian officials misjudge their image in the United States.


[Editor’s Note: Lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, an employee of an American firm, was jailed in 2008 on charges of tax evasion and fraud after implicating top officials in a complex scheme to defraud the Russian government. His colleagues say the charges were fabricated by police investigators whom he had accused of stealing $230 million from the state through fraudulent tax returns. The Kremlin's own human rights council said in 2011 that he was probably beaten to death. In response, the U.S. Congress is now working on passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act].


The American press interpreted the purpose of the visit of the four Russian members of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation to Capitol Hill as an attempt to prevent passage of the Magnitsky Act. But the Russian lawmakers, according to their own statements, were hoping that meeting with their American counterparts - and familiarizing them with the results of an investigation conducted by Russian law enforcement - would serve to convince them that there was a legal basis for Magnitsky’s arrest. But it was clear as soon as they arrived that the Russian senators would not get the welcome they expected. Senator Benjamin Cardin, author of the Magnitsky Act, refused to meet the Russian parliamentarians citing a tight schedule. The cold reception given to the senators at the U.S. Capitol came as no surprise to David J. Kramer, president of the advocacy group Freedom House.



David J. Kramer: I was confident that their mission was doomed to fail. How could they have come here for such a purpose, when it is so well known that Magnitsky was not only deprived of the medical care he needed, but was beaten before his death? How do they intend to explain that the same officials he accused were the ones who brought criminal charges against him? How can they explain the relationships between these officials and the various Russian citizens connected to the case? These lawmakers should not have come here to try and convince us that Magnitsky’s persecution was in accord with legal standards. They should be establishing a legal society in Russia and not feeding us this nonsense.


Svoboda News: With such strong sentiment in favor of the bill evident in Congress, were you surprised that the Russians embarked on this seemingly futile mission?


David J. Kramer: No, because it is consistent with their modus operandi. In this case, frankly, every time Russian officials threaten consequences if the Magnitsky bill passes, or lobby against it, it only serves to increase the number of sponsors of the bill. In this situation, no one in Congress would believe what the Russians have to say. If they have the time and the money to come to Washington on a mission, let them do so ... [translated quotes].



Kommersant, Russia: U.S. Magnitsky Act Likely to Trigger 'Harsh Backlash'
Yezhednevniy Zhurnal, Russia: The Magnitsky List, America’s ‘Secret’ Weapon!
Voice of Russia, Russia: Russian Opposition Wants Magnitsky List Expanded
Gazeta, Russia: Good Guys vs. Bad Guys: Russia Today is the Latter
Gazeta, Russia: America is Neither Friend Nor Foe
MK, Russia: Obama's ‘Hope’ Keeps Putin from ‘Window on Paradise’


American journalist and political analyst David Satter believes that the Russian senators were counting on the naiveté of American lawmakers, and were openly trying to mislead them.


David Satter: They probably were counting on the fact that a majority of senators are unfamiliar with all the details of this complicated case. So when they presented the results of official investigations implicating Magnitsky in tax evasion, they thought Americans, brought up to respect the law, would consider it a powerful argument against the Magnitsky Act. The lack of attention that marked the Russians’ appearance in Congress shows, in my opinion, the extent of the preliminary work carried out by aides of American lawmakers who sponsored the bill. The Russians were unable to fool their American colleagues, which will certainly annoy Russian officials. This unexpected visit shows the seriousness of the concern Moscow feels over the fact that something akin to the Iron Curtain will soon block corrupt Russian politicians from the world and their favorite party destinations in the West.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


Svoboda News: As a result of this, what the impact be on Russian-American relations? Many U.S. observers acknowledge that the United States also needs to cooperate with Russia.


Like Worldmeets.US on Facebook



David Satter:  If foreign policy was entirely under the control of the Obama Administration, I am confident that there would be no “Magnitsky Act.” Russia would be subjected to far less pressure than it is now experiencing from Washington. If after the presidential election, Barack Obama remains in the White House, he will most likely try to maintain an amicable tone in dealing with Russia. But the legislative branch will protest whatever appear to be illegal actions on the part of the Russian authorities. Moreover, one can foresee a rise in bilateral tension. The Magnitsky case is only marginally related to this. It is simply that just as he always has, Putin will continue to cultivate the image of the foreign threat as a tool in his fight against domestic opposition in Russia. [translated quotes].


The main test of the “Magnitsky Act” will occur in the next few days. The Senate Finance Committee will vote on the bill normalizing trade relations with Russia. The head of the committee, Max Bauchus, intends to bundle the two bills.




opinions powered by
blog comments powered by Disqus





























































[Posted by Worldmeets.US July 19, 12:47am]






Bookmark and Share