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.