WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier on Monday, the US government added five Russians to the list of people sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act.
"Even as I welcome this news, I recognize that there are many more individuals in Russia who deserve to be sanctioned for their roles in human rights abuses and corruption," McGovern stated on Monday. "I will continue to closely monitor the implementation of the Magnitsky law."
The Magnitsky Act has allowed the US Department of the Treasury to apply sanctions on Russian officials it believes were responsible for the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in pre-trial detention. Magnitsky alleged official corruption at the highest levels of government in Russia.
McGovern said he encourages the US administration to carry out additional investigations.
"The US relationship with Russia is important, but it requires a solid base — it cannot and should not be built on a shaky foundation of corruption and condoning human rights violations," McGovern added.
On Monday, the US Department of State submitted to Congress the third annual report on the government’s actions to implement the Magnitsky Act. The document includes a list of 39 individuals, sanctioned to date.
A senior State Department spokesperson told reporters that Washington hopes to never issue another Magnitsky designation because human rights in Russia have improved.
An investigation closed the criminal case into the death of Magnitsky, citing lack of criminal evidence.
Russia responded to the Magnitsky Act by issuing its own blacklist, which includes US officials linked to human rights violations, including some involved in the construction and maintenance of the Guantanamo Bay detention center.