Code 177233
PublishDate: Saturday, December 15, 2012 10:36

Obama signs Russian trade and human rights bill

Obama has signed a bill that will expand trade with Russia but could antagonise relations with Moscow over its treatment of dissidents.

President Barack Obama has signed a bill that will expand trade with Russia but could antagonise relations with Moscow over its treatment of dissidents.

While welcoming better trade relations, Russia has threatened retaliation over a section of the law that would punish Russian officials who allegedly commit human rights violations.

A Russian official suggested sanctions could be imposed on US officials accused of rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.

Sen John McCain, a main sponsor of the human rights measure, says it will help the Russian people by ”sending a signal” to Russian President Vladimir Putin that human rights abuses will not be tolerated.

The law eliminates a 1974 law that tied trade relations with the former Soviet Union to the emigration of Jews and other minorities.(AP)

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