Corrupt Russian officials ‘face UK visa bans’

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Corrupt Russian officials 'face UK visa bans'
Corrupt Russian officials could be banned from entering Britain(Picture: Getty)

Russian officials involved in corruption and human rights abuse could be targeted in a tough new sanctions regime and banned from entering Britain, it has been reported.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Amber Rudd have agreed to introduce a British version of the US ‘Magnitsky Act’, The Sunday Telegraph reported.

This shocking video shows a man using his own left FOOT as a PILLOW - after doctors amputated it when he was involved in a bus crash. See SWNS story SWFOOT. The 25-year-old works as a helper on a school bus which overturned while trying to avoid colliding with a tractor yesterday (Sat). Twenty-five schoolchildren were also injured in the accident in Ghanshyam, India, reports said. He was then taken to Jhansi Medical College, 34 miles from the accident site, where doctors amputated his leg and placed it under his head as a pillow, his relatives allege.Man uses his own foot as a pillow after having it amputated

The American legislation, passed in 2012, was designed to punish Russian officials involved in the death in custody of the lawyer Sergei Magnitsky while he was investigating official corruption.

It has since been extended to apply worldwide, with the US authorities publishing a list of ‘gross violators of human rights’ who are subject to subject to asset freezes and visa bans.

Conservative MPs seeking similar legislation in the UK confirmed discussions were ongoing with ministers about including ‘Magnitsky amendments’ into the Sanctions Bill currently going through Parliament.

If it is accepted it will almost certainly lead to a further worsening of relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin who reacted furiously to the US legislation, imposing a retaliatory ban on the adoption of Russian children by Americans.

EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND - FEBRUARY 10: Immigration and border control signs at Edinburgh Airport on February 10, 2014 in Edinburgh, Scotland. A recent survey has shown that Scottish people have a more open attitude to immigration than people in England and Wales, according to a poll today for Oxford Universitys Migration Observatory. (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Discussions about the move started before the nerve agent attack in Salisbury(Picture: Getty)

However ministers were said to be resisting one key element of the proposals which would ensure the law was actually used.

Discussions about the move, which is supported by Labour, started before the nerve agent attack in Salisbury, which left former Russian double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia fighting for their lives amid widespread suspicion of Kremlin involvement.

Tory backbencher Richard Benyon said he believed the incident made the adoption of their amendments more likely. ‘It has certainly concentrated minds’, he said.

There was no immediate comment from the Foreign Office which is piloting the Sanctions Bill through Parliament.

MOSCOW, RUSSIA - SEPTEMBER 19 : Ticket of Turkish Airlines is seen in a Russian passenger's passport at the Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow, Russia, on September 19, 2017. (Photo by Sefa Karacan/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
If it is accepted it will almost certainly lead to a further worsening of relations with Russian president Vladimir Putin (Picture: Getty)

However a Whitehall source told the Telegraph: ‘We started the process by putting it into the Criminal Finances Act 2017 and are looking at expanding it across other legislation.

‘But we are clear that we will not do anything that can adversely impact the operational effectiveness of our law enforcement agencies.’

Meanwhile the Conservative Party was facing criticism after The Sunday Times reported that it had declared donations of more than £820,000 from ‘Russian-linked supporters’ since Theresa May became Prime Minister in July 2016.

Marina Litvinenko, the widow of the former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko who died in London in 2006 after being given radioactive polonium, said they should not have taken the money.

‘These donations are not just from the heart and for charitable reasons. They are all calculated,’ she told The Sunday Times.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: ‘All donations to the Conservative party are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with the law.’

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