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Russia Vows to Mirror U.S. Visa Sanctions Over Magnitsky Case

MOSCOW. Aug 17 (Interfax) - Russia's retaliation will mirror the U.S. visa sanctions imposed over the Sergei Magnitsky case.

"Speaking of U.S. media data about a disproportionate response, about preserving cooperation on Afghanistan, Iran, the Middle East, there is nothing farther from the truth than such insinuations," Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov told journalists.

"We are working over a mirroring response," he added.

These measures will not affect U.S.-Russian cooperation in other areas. "The development of cooperation is in our common interests," Ryabkov said.

"We have always called for preventing any problems in our bilateral relationship with Washington from hampering the common cooperation progress. We are cooperating on Iran and Afghanistan not because we are doing so in the form of a present for the U.S., let alone in the form of some concession. It is an equal interest," Ryabkov said.

U.S.-Russian cooperation in these areas is clearly balanced, he said.

"Nothing in this cooperation damages Russian interests; on the contrary, it serves to strengthen our security interests. This is exactly why we are cooperating, and so it would be wrong to say that some other circumstances could affect this cooperation," he said.

In July, the U.S. Department of State added the names of the Russian officials who played a part in Magnitsky's death to the blacklist of U.S. visa applicants.

The blacklist includes FSB (Federal Security Service) officials, top and medium-ranking police officers, prison guards and doctors, prosecutors, tax auditors and inspectors.

Magnitsky, who was charged with tax evasion under Article 199 of the Russian Penal Code, died at a Moscow pre-trial detention facility on November 16, 2009. His death prompted a broad public outcry, including abroad.


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