U.S. official says 'actively considering' adding Russians to sanctions list

Reuters
A child lights candles at a memorial for those killed in recent violence in Kiev's Independence Square
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A child lights candles at a memorial for those killed in recent violence in Kiev's Independence Square February 26, 2014. A resolution, overwhelmingly supported by parliament, linked fugitive President Viktor Yanukovich, who was ousted by the legislature on Saturday and is now on the run, to police violence against protesters which it said had led to the deaths of more than 100 citizens of Ukraine and other states. REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis (UKRAINE - Tags: CIVIL UNREST POLITICS)

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States is "actively considering" adding names of Russians involved in the incursion in Ukraine to the "Magnitsky list" of human rights offenders subject to visa bans and asset freezes, a U.S. State Department official said on Thursday.

"We are actively considering adding new names," Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Eric Rubin said at a House of Representatives committee hearing on the crisis in Ukraine.

Under a 2012 U.S. law named after Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in prison, the United States targeted Russian officials involved in human rights abuses with visa bans and asset freezes. The State Department placed 18 Russian individuals on a public list of those affected, and a handful of other senior officials are on a list that was not made public.

(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Eric Beech)

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