The U.S. Senate today approved the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act (H.R. 6156), which normalizes trade relations between the U.S. and Russia, while sanctioning Russian officials who are responsible for human rights abuses. The bill is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who was arrested for investigating official corruption and was subsequently killed in prison. The legislation would deny U.S. visas to designated human rights abusers, revoke any visa issued to such a person, and freeze their U.S. assets.
Senator Ayotte cosponsored the Senate version of the Magnitsky bill, which would have extended the sanctions on human rights abusers beyond Russia to all countries. She released this statement following today's vote:
"A more prosperous, transparent Russia that is more integrated with the global economy is in Russia's interests, as well as America's. At the same time, I continue to be concerned by the Putin government's increasingly anti-democratic behavior, including its ongoing suppression of human rights and intimidation of dissidents.
"That is why I voted today to normalize trade relations with Russia while holding officials in the Putin government accountable for their gross human rights violations. I believe the U.S. should apply these accountability measures globally, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to address this omission. We best protect America's interests and honor our values when we consistently and boldly speak out for human rights around the world."