U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) today released the following statement on the list of Russian citizens today identified for sanctions by the Obama Administration for human rights violations under the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, passed by Congress last year:
"I am deeply disappointed by the Obama Administration's announcement today that only 18 individuals have been added to the human rights sanctions list required by the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. Several internationally respected human rights organizations - as well as the European Court on Human Rights - have made compelling cases that many additional Russian officials have met the criteria for sanctions under the Magnitsky Act. Furthermore, Congress included in the Magnitsky Act, at the request of the Obama Administration, the option to include in classified form additional names of Russian human rights abusers to be sanctioned - but even that list is inadequate.
"At a time when citizens and civil society groups are being denied justice across Russia, the United States has a responsibility to show our Russian friends and partners that there can still be accountability and consequences when basic human rights are violated. That's why robust implementation of the Magnitsky Act is so critical and why today's announcement is so damaging. Today's announcement makes clear that Congress must take additional legislative action to ensure our intent on this critical human rights measure is fully realized. I am determined to continue working together with my colleagues to push for the appropriate implementation of this law and to fulfill the promise we made last year to globalize the Magnitsky Act."