In an interview with Foreign Policy Wednesday, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) said he believes Russia denied him a visa this month over recent legislation he sponsored:
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee on human rights, has been traveling to Russia and before that the Soviet Union for decades. But this month, the Russian government denied him a visa for the first time, despite a personal intervention from the U.S. ambassador in Moscow.
In an interview Wednesday with The Cable, Smith said the Russians were already retaliating for a recent U.S. law that seeks to call out and punish Russian human rights violators. That bill, the Sergei Magnitsky Accountability and Rule of Law Act of 2012, was named after the Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in prison, allegedly after being tortured by Russian officials.
Smith was an original sponsor of the bill.