‘‘Jackson-Vanik served its purpose with respect to Russia and should be revoked, but in its place we should respond to Russia’s continued corruption and human rights violations,’’ said Sen. Orrin Hatch of Utah, the top Republican on Baucus’ committee.
After the Senate vote, Alexei Pushkov, head of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russia’s parliament, said the State Duma may respond by imposing similar sanctions on U.S. officials accused of violating the rights of Russian citizens abroad. An alternative would be to target U.S. officials accused of rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and other nations, Pushkov was quoted as telling the ITAR-Tass news agency.
Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., said he voted against the bill because the Magnitsky provision, as written by the House, applies only to Russian human rights violators. The original Senate proposal would have applied those sanctions worldwide.
‘‘Why would we deny visas only to Russian human rights violators?’’ Levin asked in a statement. ‘‘Why diminish the universality of the values the Magnitsky bill seeks to uphold?’’
Associated Press writer Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.