President Putin signs ban on US adoptions of Russian children
By Alissa de Carbonnel ,ReutersMOSCOW -- President Vladimir Putin signed a law on Friday that bans Americans from adopting Russian children and imposes other sanctions in retaliation for a new U.S. human rights law that he says is poisoning relations.
December 29, 2012, 12:05 am TWN
The law, which has ignited outrage among Russian liberals and child rights' advocates, takes effect on Jan. 1. Washington has called the law misguided and said it ties the fate of children to “unrelated political considerations.”
It is likely to deepen a chill in U.S.-Russian relations and deal a blow to Putin's image abroad.
Fifty-two children whose adoptions by American parents were underway will remain in Russia, Interfax news agency cited Russia's child rights commissioner, Pavel Astakhov, as saying.
The law will also outlaw some nongovernmental organizations that receive U.S. funding and impose a visa ban and asset freeze on Americans accused of violating the rights of Russians abroad.
Pro-Kremlin lawmakers initially drafted the bill to mirror the U.S. Magnitsky Act, which bars entry to Russians accused of involvement in the death in custody of anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and other alleged rights abuses.
The restrictions on adoptions and non-profit groups were added to the legislation later, escalating a dispute with Washington at a time when ties are also strained by issues such as the Syrian crisis.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said the Magnitsky Act had “seriously undermined” the “reset” — the moniker for the effort U.S. President Barack Obama launched in his first term to improve relations between the former Cold War foes.