Russia responded angrily to a "hypocritical" US human rights law today, vowing to respond with legislation of their own.
Congress scrapped cold w ar-era trade restrictions on Russia last week but also imposed sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations.
Duma chairman Sergei Naryshkin pointed to the US prison camp Guantanamo Bay and the country's extraordinary rendition programme.
"It's amazing that a country that created secret prisons on the territory of other countries where people are being tortured like in dark ages is lecturing others," he said.
He introduced a Bill today to place sanctions on US citizens who commit crimes against Russian citizens.
It includes judges who issue "unfounded or unfair verdicts" against Russians.
The US "Magnitsky Act" was brought forward after the 2009 death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in custody having been severely beaten and repeatedly denied medical treatment.
The bill has yet to be signed into law by President Barack Obama but he has welcomed the legislation.
Russia and the US also clashed over Syria today.
Officials from both countries met with UN envoy Lakhdar Brahimi over the weekend.
But the Russian Foreign Ministry launched a scathing attack on external intervention after the talks.
The statement also signalled Russia's opposition to the new Western-designed National Coalition.
The US is thought to be likely to recognise the coalition as the sole representative of the Syrian people at a Friends of Syria meeting on Wednesday.
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