WASHINGTON — A senior State Department said on Thursday that the U.S. is “actively considering” adding names to the Magnitsky List in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
That consideration comes after a push from Capitol Hill to use the list, which bars Russian officials — beginning with those implicated in the 2009 death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky — from entering the United States, and prevents them from accessing the U.S. banking system.
“We must name and shame these persons and then add other Putin officials responsible for human rights abuses not just in Ukraine but in Russia as well to the Magnitsky list, which imposes similar sanctions,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Ukraine. “Adding these names to the Magnitsky list would make these sanctions permanent rather than an executive order that the president can rescind.”
“Is the administration considering adding more names of Russian officials guilty of human rights violations to the Magnitsky list? Is it simply a historical document or academic? Are we just going to stay with those few names that have been put on the list and have not added any since then?” Ros-Lehtinen said.
“We are actively considering adding names,” said Deputy Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Eric Rubin. “We take this legislation very seriously.”
“I don’t have any new information for you this morning, but that is something that is under active consideration,” Rubin said.
The White House announced a round of Russia sanctions on Thursday morning. The president signed an executive order imposing asset freezes and visa bans on Russian and Ukrainian officials connected to the Russian invasion of Crimea.