USA*Engage, NFTC Express Disappointment Over Senate Foreign Relations Committee Passage of Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act

Tuesday, 26 June 2012
Washington, DC – USA*Engage and the National Foreign Trade Council (NFTC) today expressed disappointment with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s passage of S. 1039, the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act. The organizations released the following statement.

“We are extremely disappointed in today’s passage of S. 1039,” said NFTC President Bill Reinsch. “This bill, if passed, will not only unnecessarily complicate U.S.-Russia relations, it has the potential to damage U.S. diplomatic relations worldwide.”

“What began as a protest against a horrifying human rights violation has unfortunately led to the creation of yet another unilateral U.S. sanctions regime,” said USA*Engage Director Richard Sawaya. “The legislation approved today goes far beyond holding those who harmed Magnitsky accountable, with its call to address human rights violations ‘anywhere in the world.’ Passing such legislation will have serious political and diplomatic implications.”

“The scope of this legislation should stay true to its original purpose and be limited to measures against Russian persons involved directly in the death of Sergei Magnitsky. As the Administration has already taken steps to enact appropriate measures regarding this human rights violation, we strongly urge Congress to refrain from taking any further steps that would put U.S.-Russia relations in unnecessary peril,” concluded Reinsch.