The US Senate has voted to lift Cold War-era trade sanctions against Russia.
The new legislation will likely benefit American firms doing business with one of the world’s fastest growing economies, according to business groups.
But the bill also blacklists several people allegedly linked to the abuse and death of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Russian jail in 2009.
He had been held for a year without trial after accusing several officials of large-scale theft from the government.
While lifting historic trade sanctions, many in Washington wanted to keep up the pressure on Moscow over its human rights record.
“I think we are sending a signal to Vladimir Putin and to the Russian plutocracy that these kinds of abuses of human rights will not be tolerated without us
responding in some appropriate fashion,” said John McCain, Republican Senator from Arizona.
The Kremlin has described the new bill as “absurd” and warned that it would damage relations.