Russian relations with America took another turn for the worse on Saturday when the Russian published a retaliatory list banning 18 Americans from visiting the country. it includes two officials from the George Bush era the Russians claim were involved in torture, and two former commanders of Guantanamo Bay.
“The war of lists isn’t our choice, but we reserve the right to respond to such blatant blackmail. It is high time for politicians in
Washington to finally realise that it is futile to build relations with a
country like Russia in a spirit of mentoring and outright diktat,” said Russian foreign ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich.
The Russian list is in response to the “Magnitsky” list of 18 Russians already issued by the US congress, banning people suspected of human rights abuses. Congress approved the move following the death in custody in 2009 of whistleblower Sergei Magnitsky who alleged Russian officials stole millions. He is being tried posthumously by a Russian court.