Russia confirms entry ban for U.S. Admiral


MOSCOW, Jan. 18 — Russia has denied an entry visa to a high-ranking U.S. navy officer suspected by Moscow of human rights violations, First Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Denisov said Friday.

“We did not let in a U.S. general who used to be a chief of the Guantanamo prison,” the Interfax news agency quoted Denisov as saying.

Russia on Jan. 1 enacted a so-called Anti-Magnitsky law which, among other measures, bans U.S. officials’ entry into Russia if they have been suspected of violating human rights.

Denisov did not name that U.S. General.

According to Russian media, the visa was denied to the Rear Admiral Jeffrey Harbeson, a commandant of Guantanamo Bay detention camp in Cuba in 2010-2011. He currently holds the post of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff’s Deputy Director for politico-military affairs for Europe, NATO and Russia.

The diplomat noted that composing the black lists was initiated by the U.S. side as a “100-percent exercise in political public relations”.

“No one prevents the U.S. side, or any other country, not to let in a persona non-grata by simply not issuing him a visa,” he said.

Denisov added that when it comes to Russia, the claims could be presented to those who have harmed Russian citizens “or simply were found to have violated human rights”.