Russia threatens to sink a reboot

Russia threatens to sink a reboot

(” Foreign Policy “
Josh Rogin (Josh Rogin)
Russia USA america button reset
© Reuters

Russia has threatened Obama administration that will stop cooperation on Iran and prevent further deliveries of supplies to Afghanistan if Congress passes a law which has been criticized in the Russian practice of human rights. The White House argues that the Russian-American relations have restarted three positive result: START-3 of nuclear arms reductions, cooperation with Russia in sanctions against Iran and Russia’s agreement (for money) for the transfer of American military supplies through Russian territory to Afghanistan. But now Russia is using two of these three results as leverage, trying to get from an administration that she did not give Congress the adoption of a law prohibiting the issuance of visas to the Russian representatives involved in crimes in the area of human rights. The bill is named for the lawyer Magnitsky , who was tortured and died in a Russian prison in 2009. It is aimed against those who arrested Magnitsky, as well as against other Russians, “guilty of murder without trial, torture and other serious violations of human rights.” The administration acknowledged that sounded Russian threats in its official statement on the bill text which managed to get Cable. “High-level representatives of the Russian government warned us that the answer is asymmetric in the case of adoption of this law, – the document says. – Their argument is that they should not be waiting for support for sanctions against countries such as Iran, North Korea and Libya, at the same time when sanctions are applied against them. Russian officials have stated that the adoption of the law will be threatened, and other areas of bilateral cooperation, including transit cargo to Afghanistan. ” “The Russian Duma has already proposed a bill to impose similar visa restrictions and the freezing of financial assets of those U.S. officials who are deemed guilty Russia in violation of the rights of Russian citizens arrested abroad and brought to trial in the U.S. – said the administration. – We can not judge the scale of such shares, but note that due to the adoption of the Law S. 1039 hit, and other U.S. national security interests “.Washington Post first reported today on a statement of administration and published the news that the State Department quietly switched involved in the murder Magnitsky Russian officials in black visa list. It seems that this blacklist was an attempt to forestall the adoption of the Administration law. “Clinton Secretary of State has taken steps to prohibit entry into the U.S. of those involved in the death of Magnitsky, which set in due to illegal actions. Therefore, the administration sees no need for further legislation, “- said in a statement. But in fact, the proposed bill included not only those who are involved in the case Magnitsky. The Senate version of the bill also included those involved in a variety of Russian affairs on human rights violations, including that of the jailed Russian dissident, Mikhail Khodorkovsky.The main proponent of the bill the Senate Democratic Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland (Ben Cardin) said today in an interview with Cable, that he is working to respond to the expressed fears of the administration. He does not know when the bill is considered in committee and at a meeting of the Senate. “I work with the administration, working with the committee, working with my colleagues Senators to decide how to proceed – he said. – The strategy may change due to two reasons: first – what happens in Russia, the second – what happens at the State Department. At the moment, all is changeable. ” Meanwhile, the administration has another problem with a reboot – it should get out of Congress repeal the Jackson-Vanik amendment of 1974, which was adopted as a punishment for the Soviet Union, his treatment of Jewish immigrants. This amendment prevents the granting Russia the status of permanent normal trade relations, which is one of the conditions of its accession to the WTO.Director of Russian National Security Council, Mike McFaul (Mike McFaul), appointed by the administration as ambassador to Moscow said last month New Republic, that it is not against the idea of making some new law to replace the Jackson-Vanik amendment, which could exert pressure on Russia in matters of human rights. “Jackson-Vanik amendment is outdated, – he said. – Let’s create a mechanism for newer, which is more appropriate for 2011. ” It is doubtful that the House of Representatives, with its Republican majority will give Russia the status of permanent normal trade relations. This means that the importance of law as a trump card Magnitsky in the negotiations may be minimal. Either way, it is now clear that the Obama administration attaches great importance to preserving the achievements of restarting and does not want that something in the way. “When we came to power, reboot, and Russia has become one of the key foreign policy goals – said in May reporters deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes (Ben Rhodes). – These relations are for the United States among the most fruitful. ”