Obama signs Russian trade and human rights bill

Published Dec 15, 2012 04:17am

President Barack Obama signs the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington. Standing from left are: Sen Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H.; Klaus Kleinfeld, chairman and CEO of Alcoa Inc.; Sen Ben Cardin, D-Md.; Sen Roger Wicker, R-Miss.; Sen Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn.; Sen Max Baucus, D-Mont. President Obama; House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md.; Rep  Sandy Levin, D-Mich.; Rep Jim McGovern, D-Mass.; and Rep Gregory Meeks, D-NY — Photo by AP

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has signed a bill that will expand trade with Russia but could antagonise relations with Moscow over its treatment of dissidents.  

While welcoming better trade relations, Russia has threatened retaliation over a section of the law that would punish Russian officials who allegedly commit human rights violations.

A Russian official suggested sanctions could be imposed on US officials accused of rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

Sen John McCain, a main sponsor of the human rights measure, says it will help the Russian people by ''sending a signal'' to Russian President Vladimir Putin that human rights abuses will not be tolerated.

The law eliminates a 1974 law that tied trade relations with the former Soviet Union to the emigration of Jews and other minorities.


Do you have information you wish to share with Dawn.com? You can email our News Desk to share news tips, reports and general feedback. You can also email the Blog Desk if you have an opinion or narrative to share, or reach out to the Special Projects Desk to send us your Photos, or Videos.

Comments (0) Closed