December 14, 2012 / 6:38 PM / 5 years ago

Obama signs Russia trade, human rights bill

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U.S. President Barack Obama (seated) signs into law H.R. 6156, the Russia and Moldova Jackson-Vanik Repeal and Magnitsky Rule of Law Accountability Act, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, December 14, 2012.Larry Downing

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama on Friday signed into law a bill that modernizes U.S. trade relations with Russia by ending a Cold War-era provision, but also punishes Russian human rights violators.

Russia has objected strongly to the human rights component of the legislation named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in 2009 in a Russian jail.

On Friday, the lower house of Russia's parliament gave preliminary approval to a tit-for-tat measure against U.S. human rights violators.

Reporting by Doug Palmer; Editing by Will Dunham

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