MOSCOW, July 9 (RAPSI) - Russia has not received an official notification from the UK authorities on banning Russian officials on the US Magnitsky List from entering the UK, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday.
"We have not received any official notifications to this effect from the UK authorities," he said at a joint news conference following his talks with Romanian Foreign Minister Titus Corlatean.
Lavrov added that "the UK authorities have said more than once that they do not intend to compile similar lists."
"A provocation cannot be ruled out, because there are many high-profile issues in the European and global media space from which some people would like to create a diversion," the Russian Foreign Minister said.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the UK Home Office has banned 60 Russian officials allegedly involved in the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky in 2009 from entering the UK.
The Home Office declined to comment on the matter when asked by RIA Novosti on Monday.
Hermitage Capital auditor Sergei Magnitsky was arrested on November 24, 2008 on suspicion of masterminding large-scale corporate tax evasion. He died in pretrial detention on November 16, 2009 after spending a year behind bars. The Prosecutor General's Office said his death was due to cardiovascular insufficiency.
Magnitsky's death sparked an international public outcry, triggered amendments to Russia's Criminal Code and a reshuffling of penal officials.
A group of US senators introduced the Magnitsky bill in spring 2012 and suggested compiling a list of Russian officials allegedly linked to Magnitskys death in exchange for the repeal of the Jackson-Vanik amendment, a law which hindered US-Russian trade relations.