Russia bans 18 American officials

Russia has published its own list of US officials banned from Russia in response to the US’s list of Russian officials facing visa and financial sanctions under the Magnitsky Act, Russia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement  on Saturday, RIA Novosti reports.

“We would like to draw particular attention to the fact that, unlike the American list compiled arbitrarily, our list features primarily those implicated in torture and the indefinite detention of prisoners in the [US] Guantanamo prison camp, as well as those involved in the abduction and removal to other countries of Russian citizens and in threats to their lives and health,” the statement said.

“This war of lists was not our decision, but we do not have the right to ignore such open blackmail,” it continued. “It’s time for the politicians in Washington to finally realize that it is fruitless to base a relationship with a country such as Russia on an attitude of mentorship and overt dictation.”

Like the US list, the Russian list comprises 18 names. Four are listed as having been connected with the US’s infamous Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba, which has seen numerous allegations of abuse and torture by prisoners and rights groups. The rest of the US officials on the list are mostly described as prosecutors and special agents, and are accused of having violated the rights of Russians abroad.

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