Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov hopes that the damage done by the Magnitsky Act to Russian-U.S. relations will not be irreparable.
"Hopefully, we will turn this page, the damage done to our relations will not be irreparable, and we will be able to make further progress. Although, certainly, this burden will weigh us down," he said in an interview with the Voice of Russia radio.
"The background is rather bad. The combination of factors has created a truly grave background at the end of the year," the deputy minister said.
"The Magnitsky Act has an anti-Russian essence; it is extremely harmful and fundamentally erroneous," the diplomat said.
"Despite our numerous appeals and insistent demands, the U.S. administration succumbed to those who had decided to replace the actually anti-Soviet Jackson-Vanik Amendment with the actually anti-Russian, extremely harmful and fundamentally erroneous law, the Magnitsky Act," Ryabkov said.
"In fact, the U.S. Congress has assumed with the connivance of the administration the uncharacteristic role of a juridical authority, i.e. found a group of Russian people guilty of violations of certain norms; we would not say laws, but certain norms. Actually, that was a prerogative of Russian agencies, Russian judiciary and investigators who had not completed inquiries into the cases of Magnitsky and, by the way, Browder," the deputy minister stressed.