US House approves Russia trade bill with human rights slap


The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Friday to “name and shame” Russian human rights violators as part of a broader bill to drop Cold War-era trade restrictions, brushing off warnings from Moscow that the move would damage relations. The House voted 365-43 to approve the legislation, which takes a jab at the policies of Russian President Vladimir Putin while ensuring U.S. companies get the full benefits of Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization on Aug. 22. “Since Vladimir Putin was re-elected president in May 2012, his government has taken a harsh and confrontational approach to ongoing protests, cracking down on the Russian people’s growing discontent with corruption and creeping authoritarianism,” said Representative Jim McGovern, a Democrat. The bill, which still needs Senate approval, would establish “permanent normal trade relations,” or PNTR, with Russia. In a provision that infuriates Moscow, the bill would direct President Barack Obama to publish the names of Russians believed involved in the abuse and death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in a Russian jail in 2009.