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Kremlin: Secret list of US officials banned in Russia to grow

Other News Materials 25 October 2011 15:15
An undisclosed list of US officials banned from entering Russia will expand to include more American government workers who have committed criminal acts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday.
Kremlin: Secret list of US officials banned in Russia to grow

An undisclosed list of US officials banned from entering Russia will expand to include more American government workers who have committed criminal acts, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Tuesday, DPA reported.

"We are not going to make the names public," Lavrov said in comments to the Interfax news agency. "But the list is going to get bigger."

Russia announced on Sunday that it had placed a travel ban on a number of senior US officials in retaliation for a US entry ban on 11 Russian officials that Washington had identified as possibly being involved in criminal acts.

Moscow had not made public the precise number of barred US officials or their names, and did not intend to do so, Lavrov said.

"We have said everything about them that we intend to say," Lavrov said, when asked if the blacklist included members of the US Congress.

In July, the US State Department identified 11 Russians who were possibly complicit in the alleged 2009 murder of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, and barred them from entering the US.

The travel bans followed a 2010 request from US Senator Benjamin Cardin, who has alleged that Magnitsky was arrested, abused and murdered for publicizing official Russian corruption involving some 230 million dollars of stolen government funds.

Cardin has alleged that at least 60 Russian government officials were involved in illegal acts in relation to Magnitsky, who died in Moscow police custody in November 2009, after nearly a year of detention.

Most members of Cardin's list are police, prosecutors or judges.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Aleksandr Lukashevich on Sunday said some of the banned US officials were complicit in "legalization of torture in special prisons, kidnapping and torture of terrorism suspects, detention of people without cause in Guantanamo, and failed investigations into murders in Iraq and Afghanistan."

The Russian blacklist also includes US officials responsible for the kidnapping and torture of Russian nationals in the US, he said.

Russian officials have said Magnitsky's death was an accident. US bans on grounds of his alleged murder were "cynical," Lukashevich said.

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