Russia’s Putin Backs U.S. Adoptions Ban


December 20, 2012 – 16:49 AMT

PanARMENIAN.Net – Russian President Vladimir Putin backed a
controversial tit-for-tat amendment that would ban U.S. citizens from
adopting Russian children at a Dec 20 press conference, according to
RIA Novosti.

“It’s an emotional, but adequate response,” Putin said, answering
the first query of many at a question-and-answer session with about
1,000 Russian and foreign journalists, the first of this scale in
his third presidential term.

The proposed amendment banning U.S. adoptions is part of a larger
bill retaliating for the enactment of the Magnitsky Act in the
United States, which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian
officials deemed guilty of human rights abuses. The U.S. law was passed
simultaneously with the lifting of the 1974 Jackson-Vanik amendment,
which had tied trade relations with the Soviet Union to the emigration
of Jews and other Soviet minorities.

“They [the United States] replaced one anti-Soviet, anti-Russian
law with another. They can’t do without it,” Putin said, adding that
Washington’s decision will mar bilateral relations.

The ban on U.S. adoptions has sparked a public outcry among both
officials and civic groups. Critics say the move will strand thousands
of children, especially those with disabilities, in Russia’s outdated
state institutions.

Since 1999, parents in the United States have adopted more than
45,000 Russian children, including 962 last year, according to the
U.S. State Department. Russian officials claim at least 19 Russian
children adopted by Americans have died in that period, Russia’s
ombudsman for children’s rights has said.