The United States’ ‘Maniacal’ Attempt to Sanction the Country’s Elites is slammed by Russia.
Moscow’s envoy to Washington, D.C., has referred to US legislators’ plan to sanction members of Russia’s elite for suspected human rights crimes as “maniacal.”
Anatoly Antonov’s remark comes as diplomatic maneuvering between the US and Russia continues to try to resolve a standoff over embassy staff at both countries’ posts.
Last month, Tom Malinowski, a Democrat Representative, and John Curtis (R-UT), in an amendment to the defense budget bill, invoked the Magnitsky Act, which allows the US government to freeze assets and prohibit anyone suspected of human rights violations.
The Biden administration is required to decide whether 35 Russian leaders and influential persons satisfy the criteria to be sanctioned under the statute within 180 days, according to their amendment.
Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea soccer club, and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin are all on the proposed blacklist.
When asked about the action by the media, Antonov stated the “maniacal perseverance of local legislators seeking to break down Russian-American relations is mystifying,” and that the “effort to put limitations on 35 Russians under a fully fabricated pretext is a striking illustration of this.”
He claimed the goal was to “create among the voters the illusion of ‘fighting America’s enemies’…rather than dealing with the country’s serious challenges.”
In comments cited by state news outlet Tass, he said, “We call on members of Congress to renounce damaging ways.”
Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and ranking member Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS) of the Helsinki Commission submitted a bill on October 8 that would require the Biden administration to assess the 35 figures for sanctions.
The planned sanctions list was first revealed by Russian media outlets in September, however they cautioned that the process was still in its early stages and that, even if ratified by Congress, it would still require the support of President Joe Biden’s administration.
The Anti-Corruption Foundation, or FBK, which is tied to imprisoned opposition figure Alexei Navalny and has subsequently been designated an extremist organization by a Russian court, presented the list to the US government and the EU in February.
The Kremlin was implicated for Navalny’s Novichok nerve toxin poisoning, though it denied responsibility.
US sanctions were applied in the aftermath of his poisoning and imprisonment, but not on the opposition activist. This is a condensed version of the information.