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Last updated: February 19. 2013 10:06PM - 94 Views

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(AP) President Barack Obama has signed a bill that will expand trade with Russia but could antagonize relations with Moscow over its treatment of dissidents.


While welcoming better trade relations, Russia has threatened retaliation over a section of the law that would punish Russian officials who allegedly commit human rights violations. A Russian official suggested sanctions could be imposed on U.S. officials accused of rights violations in Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere.


Arizona Sen. John McCain, a main sponsor of the human rights measure, says it will help the Russian people by sending a signal to Russian President Vladimir Putin that human rights abuses will not be tolerated.


The law eliminates a 1974 law that tied trade relations with the former Soviet Union to the emigration of Jews and other minorities.


Associated Press
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