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How Russia’s Opposition Movement Wants Biden to Confront Putin

NOVEMBER 17, 2020

While the U.S. has “by any objective measure” been successful in imposing the Global Magnitsky Act, which applies to all foreign human rights abuses and corrupt officials, it has been “wrong” not to sanction more Russians under the Magnitsky Act, says Bill Browder, CEO of Hermitage Capital. Browder was Magnitsky’s client in the corruption case surrounding his death, and has been campaigning against corruption and human rights abuses in Russia ever since. Under Obama, such sanctions were introduced on a yearly basis, but under Trump there were no new sanctions in 2018 or so far this year, says Browder.

Browder expects that Biden will ramp up the pressure on Putin over his human rights record. “I think it’s going to be a big theme,” he says. Analysts including Tatiana Stanovaya, CEO of R.Politik, a political analysis firm, agrees. “Russia expects Biden to tighten sanction policies and react more fiercely to human rights abuses,” she says. And that might help to explain the Kremlin’s silence on Biden’s win. “The Magnitsky Act was one of the most upsetting things to happen to Putin in his dealings with the U.S.”, says Browder.

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