OREANDA-NEWSFlorida Republican Senator Marco Rubio and his Maryland Democrat colleague Ben Cardin have asked U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin to impose sanctions on Russian officials who, in their opinion, are responsible for prosecuting the opposition in Russia . This is stated in a joint letter circulated on Tuesday evening by Rubio and Cardin, which are signed by nine other American lawmakers.

“We urge to take measures in response to the ongoing persecution of dissidents and opposition leaders by the Russian government, the detention for political reasons of many citizens”, the message says. “We urge that the Act on the Rule of Law and Accountability in the Name of Sergey Magnitsky and the Global Act Magnitsky "and introduce targeted sanctions against those responsible for these human rights violations". "While sanctions were imposed against some individuals, there are no sanctions against many others, including Attorney General Yuri Chaika, Minister of Justice Alexander Konovalov", the text says.

The Act on the Rule of Law and Accountability named after Sergei Magnitsky was passed by the US Congress and signed by President Barack Obama in December 2012. It provides for the application of unilateral sanctions against Russian officials guilty, from the point of view of Washington, of violating human rights in their homeland. In December 2016, American lawmakers passed a bill providing for the possibility of extending the Magnitsky Act to other countries, and not just to Russia.

In March 2014, after the annexation of Crimea, the United States and the EU imposed sanctions against Russian officials and State Duma deputies. They were denied entry, and their American and European assets were frozen. The sanctions lists, which subsequently were repeatedly expanded, included Federation Council speaker Valentina Matvienko, deputy Leonid Slutsky and adviser to the Russian president Sergei Glazyev.