U.S. may use expansion of Magnitsky Act for propaganda, pressure - official
The possible expansion of the Magnitsky Act, which now applies to Russia, to other countries would be an action of propaganda and an instrument of pressure in the interests of the U.S., Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, said.
"I believe the Magnitsky Act, which applies to Russia, is a purely political instrument that can be used for putting pressure on the political leaders and political elites of other countries," Pushkov told Interfax on Friday, commenting on the appropriate proposal made by U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin and John McCain.
Pushkov said he believes Cardin has recently said that the Magnitsky Act may be expanded to Ukraine.
"They don't mean opposition leaders and Tymoshenko, they mean those who have refused to sign an agreement with the EU. For this reason, I believe this expansion should become an instrument of punishment and an instrument of pressure to make the elites of other countries act in accordance with the interests of the U.S.," the parliamentarian said.
Pushkov said he is confident that, if such a law is passed, it will be used arbitrarily and will not apply to countries that are close to the U.S. geopolitically and strategically,. He believes that countries will be put on this list in accordance with political, not legal criteria.
"It is perfectly obvious that this law will apply to countries where the U.S. would like to see a change of regimes or the introduction of politics that are profitable to the States," Pushkov said.
Pushkov said he believes the statement made by the United States calling for a campaign for human rights cannot be trusted, bearing in mind the information provided by former CIA employee Edward Snowden.
"I am confident that the practices used by the U.S. to interfere in the affairs of other countries by armed intervention, total espionage, and expansion of the Magnitsky list will cause an adverse reaction in the world," he said.
Pushkov said he believes the adoption of such a law will lead to the self-exposure of U.S. political elites.
"It can't be treated as serious politics. It's a propaganda action and an instrument of pressure," Pushkov said.