Embassy comment on the UK announcement of sanctions over the Magnitsky case
The decision by the British Government to impose sanctions against a number of Russian officials invoking the death of Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 reflects the self-declared status of the UK as the global leader in sanctions policy. All questions regarding the circumstances of Mr Magnitsky’s death have been answered long ago. Today’s decision was quite obviously conceived merely as a public move.
It is worth noting that in the UK itself, experts tend to believe that sanctions are inefficient when it comes to their declared aims, and harmful from the point of view of bilateral ties with the country concerned. This is precisely the case with today’s announcement. It will not improve Russian-British relations.
We are particularly appalled by the designation of top officials of the Prosecutor General’s office and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation, as well as judges. In Russia, investigation, prosecution and the judiciary operate on the basis of independence from the executive and are guided exclusively by law. In their everyday work, it is unacceptable for them to have to bear in mind the prospect of foreign sanctions imposed for political reasons.
Russia reserves the right to respond to today’s unfriendly decision by the UK on the basis of reciprocity.
6 July 2020, 17:30