Communists target NATO in response to Magnitsky bill

Communists have called on the authorities to reconsider its principles of cooperation with NATO if the US approves the Magnitsky bill.

­“We consider it unacceptable to turn the Magnitsky case into an anti-Russian campaign. And this is exactly what the United States is doing now,” stated Ivan Melnikov, one of the Communist Party leaders. 

He added that in response to this law Russia should its change its decision on the establishment of a NATO shipping point in the Russian city of Ulyanovsk, which “directly concerns the US”.

Melnikov accused Washington of double standards. Five Cuban citizens have been “kept in prison for political reasons”, he said, but the authorities present this as “fight against terrorism”. 

“If we have a closer look at the Magnitsky bill, we’ll see that they are now creating a tool for extrajudicial prosecution of Russian citizens who for some reasons may become pariahs of the American authorities,” Melnikov went on to say. 

On Tuesday, the US Senate’s Foreign Relations Committee voted a bill imposing travel and economic sanctions against Russian officials allegedly linked to the death in custody of the lawyer Sergey Magnitsky.

Earlier this month, a similar bill was passed by a House of Representatives committee. The act has yet to be voted on in the full House and signed by President Barack Obama. 

Moscow has urged Washington to weigh all the consequences if the bill is adopted, which will have an “extremely negative effect” on bilateral relations, the Russian Foreign Ministry stated on Wednesday.