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Russia Calls U.S. Lawmakers ‘Hypocritical’ as Obama Signs Bill

Russia criticized U.S. trade legislation targeting human-rights violations as President Barack Obama signed the bill into law.

“Senators and congressmen, having followed the orders of their business circles, shamelessly covered up their lawmaking with a hypocritical ‘concern’ for human rights,” Russia’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

The legislation, approved by the Senate on Dec. 6, repeals Cold War-era trade restrictions with Russia, while allowing the U.S. to impose financial and travel restrictions on officials implicated in the death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow jail and others guilty of rights violations including torture and murder. The law was passed by the U.S. Senate on Dec. 6.

Russia has imposed a restriction on imports of U.S. pork and beef, requiring the meat be tested and certified as free of ractopamine, a feed additive used to add lean muscle in livestock, according to the U.S. Meat Export Federation.

“We continue to call on Russia to investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible for the crimes committed against Mr. Magnitsky,” Patrick Ventrell, a U.S. State Department spokesman said today at a press briefing in Washington.

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