Monday, May 6, 2013

Ireland Backs Down from Sanctioning Russian Officials

An Irish parliamentary committee on foreign affairs has backed down from sanctioning Russian officials implicated in rights abuse following a warning that it could jeopardize a bilateral adoption agreement. The committee unanimously passed a resolution urging the Irish government to express concern over the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Moscow pretrial detention center in 2009. But it dropped its earlier plans to call for an EU-wide blacklist on officials implicated in the case, similar to the one passed in the United States last year. The Russian Embassy in Dublin said in March the blacklist could “have a negative influence” on the pending adoption agreement, though it later denied making a direct link between the two issues. Pat Breen, chairman of the Irish parliamentary committee, dismissed allegations that the Russian stance amounted to blackmail, while Senator Jim Walsh, who proposed the blacklist, called the resolution a “compromise.” Some 1,500 Russian children have been adopted by Irish citizens since the early 1990s.

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