When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

A strong blow to bilateral relations
A strong blow to bilateral relations
Dmitri Tikhonov, Maria Efimova, Sergei Strokan, Genadii Sisoev, Elena Chernenko

MOSCOW - On Friday, the United States made public its list of Russian officials who are barred to enter the U.S. under the Magnitsky Act.

The law imposes visa and banking sanctions on Russians officials accused of human rights violations. It is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a corruption lawyer and whistleblower who was accused of tax evasion and died in prison in 2009, after being beaten and denied medical treatment.

There are 18 names on the final American list, far less than had originally been suspected by Russia. Four of the 18 officials are high-ranking officials; the other 14 are prosecutors and special operations officers. The majority of the people on the list were implicated in the arrest and death of Sergei Magnitsky.

The Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs called the list “absurd”, saying it delivered “a strong blow to bilateral relations.”

Even before the list was published, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had said that no matter what the contents of the list were, the simple act of publishing the list would be bad for Russian-American relations.

“We, of course, didn’t let this happen without an answer, and we reacted to this interference in our internal affairs in the appropriate way,” the Ministry of Foreign Affairs declared on Saturday. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation’s website has been updated today to include a list of Americans who are forbidden from entering Russian territory.”

“Blatant blackmail”

The Ministry explained that “unlike the American list, which is formed arbitrarily, our list primarily includes those who are implicated in legalization of torture and perpetual detentions in Guantanamo prison, to the arrests and kidnapping of Russian citizens.”

The Ministry continued, “the war of lists is not our choice, but we cannot ignore such blatant blackmail. It is time for politicians in Washington to finally understand that there are no prospects in building relations with a country like Russia with the spirit of mentoring and undisguised dictating.”

Several members of the U.S. Congress had lobbied for as many as 280 names to be included on the list of Russians barred from the U.S., and both the CIA and human rights organizations had lobbied for a maximum number of people to be sanctioned. Before the list was published, sources in the Congress had said that President Obama was likely to shy away from such an expansive list for fear of worsening his relationship with the Kremlin.

The list of Americans banned from entering Russia also has 18 names, and includes federal prosecutors, commanders at Guantanamo and several special agents. The Russians had actually been considering 104 names in case the American list was as far-reaching as some feared.

The U.S. government has promised that its own list was not a final one, and that it would be continually updated. The White House also confirmed the existence of a second classified list of Russian officials subject to visa bans only. The names on that list were not made public, but it is already known that, among others, several members of the Russian Parliament are on it, as well as Kremlin-backed Chechen leader Ramzan Kadirov, who is accused of human rights violations, abductions and killings.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Green

China Can't Kick Its Coal Habit

China has endured two months of scorching heatwaves and drought that have affected power supply in the country. Spooked by future energy security, Beijing is reinvesting heavily in coal with disastrous implications for climate change.

The Datang International Zhangjiakou Power Plant shown at dusk in Xuanhua District of Zhangjiakou City, north China's Hebei Province.

Guangyi Pan and Hao Yang*

Two months of scorching heatwaves and drought plunged China into an energy security crisis.

The southwest province of Sichuan, for example, relies on dams to generate around 80% of its electricity, with growth in hydropower crucial for China meeting its net-zero by 2060 emissions target.

Sichuan suffered from power shortages after low rainfall and extreme temperatures over 40℃ dried up rivers and reservoirs. Heavy rainfall this week, however, has just seen power in Sichuan for commercial and industrial use fully restored, according to official Chinese media.

The energy crisis has seen Beijing shift its political discourse and proclaim energy security as a more urgent national mission than the green energy transition. Now, the government is investing in a new wave of coal-fired power stations to try to meet demand.

In the first quarter of 2022 alone, China approved 8.63 gigawatts of new coal plants and, in May, announced C¥ 10 billion (around $1.4 billion) of investment in coal power generation. What’s more, it will expand the capacity of a number of coal mines to ensure domestic supply as the international coal market price jumped amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Stories from the best international journalists.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ