Russia will find a way to punish those who impose personal sanctions against Russian citizens in the “Magnitsky case”. Russian Ambassador to the UK Andrey Kelin warned about this on Sunday on the British broadcasting Corporation’s BBC.
“As for the Magnitsky case, believe me, we will find a way to punish those who impose such sanctions. These sanctions are illegal, there is only one authorized body, and that is the UN. The UK is a permanent member of the UN Security Council,” he said in an interview with the Andrew Marr Show.
Answering the host’s clarifying question whether this means that Moscow will impose sanctions against individuals in the UK and the US who are involved in the development of the Magnitsky list, the Ambassador said: “I didn’t say that, you said it. Perhaps this is a good idea.”
On July 6, the foreign Minister of the United Kingdom, Dominic Raab, announced the entry into force of the “Magnitsky amendment” to the law on sanctions and anti-money laundering. It was passed by the house of Commons in may 2018 and was supposed to become law after the UK’s withdrawal from the EU, which occurred on the night of February 1, 2020. The amendment is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a lawyer at Hermitage Capital, who died in November 2009 in the Matrosskaya Tishina detention center in Moscow. According to London, the people mentioned in the list were involved in his torture and death.
Under the sanctions fall the Chairman of the Investigative Committee of Russia Alexander Bastrykin, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor grin, the ex-Deputy interior Minister Alexei Anichin, as well as judges, investigators, employees of the interior Ministry. These individuals are prohibited from entering the UK, their assets in the country, if any, will be frozen, and they are prohibited from doing business either in the country or through the mediation of subjects of the Kingdom. This list is not limited to Russia. A total of 49 individuals and organizations are listed, including those from Saudi Arabia, Myanmar and the DPRK.
The Russian foreign Ministry called it a “politically biased decision”, stressing that Moscow reserves the right to take adequate response measures.
Membership in the UN Security Council
Kelin also wished the Kingdom to always remain a permanent member of the UN Security Council.the Russian diplomat laughed at suggestions that Moscow was secretly seeking to exclude the United Kingdom from the security Council.
According to Andrew Marr, there are people in the ruling Conservative party and the current British government who believe that the Russian Federation is seeking the separation of Scotland from the United Kingdom, because of this, the UK will allegedly lose the status of a permanent member of the Council.
“Interesting idea, frankly,” Kelin joked in response to Marr’s question. “First of all, I don’t think that Scotland will leave the United Kingdom, because it will be very difficult for it to exist separately from it. Second, the loss of Britain’s permanent seat on the Security Council is only an assumption, since Russia did not lose its seat when the Soviet Union ceased to exist. So I wish great Britain to always remain a member of the Security Council.”
When asked whether Moscow is interested in the desire of the Scottish national movement to gain independence for Scotland, the diplomat noted that the Russian Federation is only interested in developing ties with Scottish business.
In General, speaking about relations between Russia and the UK, Kelin admitted that they are historically very difficult, but expressed hope that over time, the interaction between Moscow and London can become deeper.
“We have gone through various stages in our relationship. Sometimes we fought, as in the Crimea in the middle of the XIX century, in the last century we were allies. This means that our relationship is complicated. But these relations are based on a very close network of human, cultural, and historical contacts. We are neighbors on this continent, and I believe that the neighbors will sooner or later agree with each other,” the Ambassador said.
The full interview is published on the page of the Russian Embassy in the UK on YouTube.