Rarely does a piece of legislation in the United States excite Ukrainian critics of President Viktor Yanukovych so much. But the Magnitsky bill is one such case.
The U.S. is close to passing the Sergei Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, which will introduce sanctions against many officials in Russia who directly or indirectly were involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a prominent lawyer who investigated massive scale corruption and fraud. He died in November 2009 after being tortured in prison.
There is a possibility that the final version of the bill will affect Ukraine as well, among other nations, giving Washington a tool for potential use in case there is a political decision taken to sanction Ukraine’s officials. So far, Washington prefers to engage, though, sending envoys to Kyiv’s top dogs, who carry messages for them to stay in line.