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Ban on US adoptions is ‘adequate reaction’ – Putin

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on December 21, 2012

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists' questions during the annual big conference at the International Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya, 20 December 2012 (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)

Russian President Vladimir Putin answers journalists’ questions during the annual big conference at the International Trade Center in Krasnaya Presnya, 20 December 2012 (RIA Novosti / Iliya Pitalev)

In response to the first question at his annual international press conference in Moscow, Vladimir Putin said he was in favor of banning the adoption of Russian children by US citizens.

The question dealt with legislation that seeks to prohibit the adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens.

The bill, part of a package of measures drafted by Russian lawmakers in retaliation to the US Magnitsky Act, was approved this week by the Lower House in the second reading.

Putin answered that the Magnitsky Act should be prioritized as it is a deliberately unfriendly piece of legislation aimed at Russia (The act is named after lawyer Sergey Magnitsky, who died in pre-trial detention in Moscow in the course of a massive tax fraud investigation. In addition to banning individuals who US officials believe were involved in the death from visiting the US, it also freezes their US-held assets).

The United States “replaced one anti-Russian law with another,” and this indicates that our foreign partners are living in the past and intend to maintain relations “rooted in a standoff between two systems,” the Russian leader stated.

Speaking on the proposed adoption ban (named in honor of Dima Yakovlev, a Russian boy who died as a result of being left inside of a car on a hot day by his adoptive American parents), Putin said that to his knowledge the majority of Russians disapprove of foreign adoptions. He added that he fully agreed with Prime Minister Medvedev who said that Russia should develop its own adoption system.

The President told his audience that the amendment is not against adoptions per se, but rather a response to the US judicial system that regularly denies Russian diplomats from monitoring the wellbeing of Russian children adopted by US citizens. Putin called this practice “a humiliation,” saying that no one should have to tolerate such an attitude. Read the rest of this entry »

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