MOSCOW, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- Moscow confirmed on Friday to have increased the number of U.S. citizens blacklisted with a ban to enter Russia to 60, in the latest move of the spiraling tit-for- tat dispute between the two countries.
"The list, formed on the basis of the 'anti-Magnitsky' bill, includes judges, agents, representatives of security services and prosecutors," said head of the Russian State Duma Committee for International Affairs Alexei Pushkov.
Authors of the "Magnitsky Act" and Americans "who have violated the rights of children adopted from Russia" were also among the blacklisted, Pushkov was quoted by Itar-Tass news agency as saying.
Russia announced to single out 11 Americans in December to ban them from entering Russia, with visa restrictions being placed on them.
Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said Friday Moscow "had been forced to retaliate with symmetrical measures," adding the contents of the list "may change with time."
The U.S. government passed the Magnitsky Act in December, introducing a blacklist of Russian officials allegedly linked to the death of Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky at a Russian prison in 2009. In retaliation, the State Duma of Russia, or the lower house of the Russian parliament, passed in the same month a law introducing a ban on Americans adopting Russian orphans and blacklisted U.S. citizens it deemed human rights violators. The law, also known as anti-Magnitsky Act, became effective as of Jan. 1.