Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov speaks on his phone with scrapes seen on his face during a group photo at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Dublin December 6, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Moscow - Russia denounced as “absurd” a trade bill that passed the U.S. Senate on Thursday with a provision to punish Russian human rights violators, and a senior Russian lawmaker said Moscow may respond with a similar law.

“The decision of the U.S. a performance in the theatre of the absurd,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement on its website.

Alexei Pushkov, the head of the lower house of parliament's international affairs committee told Itar-Tass that Moscow could pass a “corresponding law”. - Reuters