A major advocate for Russian sanctions told CNBC that his U.S. visa issues should raise a red flag if they linger.
Over the weekend, The Guardian reported that Russia was finally successful in pushing Interpol to place Bill Browder on its wanted list. Browder, a British citizen, explained that his authorization to travel to the U.S. visa-free was revoked because it appears the system is tied to the Interpol list.
“But based on the reaction of the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. government, shortly, if they correct this that will show it’s a bureaucratic problem. If all of the sudden it lingers or hangs on or if they get defensive, then there’s obviously something more sinister at foot,” Browder said on “Power Lunch” on Monday.
DHS did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The Hermitage Capital Management CEO explained that he cannot cross an international border right now without being arrested because of his placement on the Interpol list.
Browder, formerly the largest foreign investor in Russia, pushed Washington to pass the Magnitsky Act, which froze the U.S. assets of certain Russian officials.
The sanction legislation is named for Russian accountant Sergei Magnitsky, who died in a Moscow prison in 2009 after investigating fraud involving Russian tax officials. The Magnitsky Act targets those who are said to have been involved in the accountant’s detention.
Browder said that Russian President Vladimir Putin “hates” the sanctions because it “targets his wealth and the wealth of other human rights violators in Russia.”
Canada recently passed its own version of the Magnitsky Act, which Browder says “infuriated” Putin.
“As these external sanctions start to gather momentum, he feels more and more helpless about what he’s going to be able to do,” Browder said.