Russia slams US human trafficking report

Moscow, June 21 (IANS) Moscow views the newly released US report on human trafficking as politicised and intended to hamper the law enforcement agencies' work in other countries, Russian government said Thursday.

The US State Department published its 2013 Trafficking in Persons report Tuesday, in which Russia received the lowest, "malicious", grade in terms of combating human trafficking, Xinhua reported.

"Such politicisation of the trafficking issue, arbitrary ranking of the countries based on political sympathy or antipathy, drafting the lists of 'guilty ones' prevents normal work of the law enforcement agencies of our countries and their cooperation," Konstantin Dolgov, a foreign ministry official said.

Including Russia in "malicious category" goes in line with other unfriendly US moves such as the Magnitsky Act, he said.

The Magnitsky Act of the US introduced a visa blacklist of Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in a Russian prison in 2009.

Dolgov added that Washington wanted Russia to alter its legislation to avoid downgrading. "That demand was inconceivable from the start. Russian authorities will never be guided with instructions drafted in another country."

The Russian official expressed outrage over the US threats to introduce sanctions against Russia based on the report's findings. But he said Moscow was willing to work with Washington on human trafficking.

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