Russia blacklists 18 Americans in retaliation for ‘Magnitsky List’

In retaliation for the United States naming alleged Russian human rights abusers, the Russian government is barring 18 Americans from entering its country.

The action comes in response to the Treasury Department naming 18 Russians on Friday under a law named for a since-deceased Russian whistleblower that passed Congress last year. Those 18 Russians on the U.S. list are subject to sanctions that include being forbidden to travel to the United States.

“Under pressure from Russophobic members of the U.S. Congress, a powerful blow has been dealt to bilateral relations and mutual trust,” said the Russian Foreign Ministry statement, according to Reuters. The Russian list reportedly includes U.S. government officials linked to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and the Bush administration, such as David Addington, a former chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney.

Treasury released the list under a law named after Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer who worked to expose corruption and who died in Russian custody after being accused of tax evasion. Sixteen of the individuals named on the U.S. are allegedly tied to Magnitsky’s death; the other two to murders in Chechnya.

The Magnitsky law has led to a heated back-and-forth between the Russian and U.S. governments. Russia passed its own law to list alleged U.S. human rights abusers and barred Americans from adopting Russian children.

The release of the dueling lists comes as White House National Security Adviser Tom Donilon is set to travel to Moscow on Sunday. Donilon’s visit will give him a chance to meet with senior Russian officials before President Obama meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin later this year.