Putin signs law banning US adoptions
RUSSIA: Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed into law
controversial parliamentary legislation banning the adoption of Russian
children by American families, the Kremlin said.
The law -- retaliation for a US law punishing Russian officials
implicated in the 2009 prison death of the whistle-blowing attorney
Sergei Magnitsky -- will come into force on January 1, the Kremlin said.
The highly contentious law is widely regarded as the toughest piece
of anti-US legislation during Putin’s 13-year rule and has prompted
objections not just from activists but even some cabinet ministers.
The law had been passed in three readings by the State Duma lower
house of parliament and then at a session Wednesday held by the
Federation Council upper house.
Putin said on Thursday that he intended to sign it, ending days of
speculation about his position. Pro-Kremlin lawmakers put together the
bill in a matter of days in response to a new US law sanctioning Russian
officials implicated in Magnitsky’s death.
Its passage revealed cracks in the Russian leadership between those
who would prefer to get tough with the United States and ministers who
back a more cautious approach.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the cabinet’s social affairs chief
Olga Golodets have both spoken out against it. A separate measure in the
law targets Russia’s liberal activists by banning all domestic political
organisations with funding from the United States.
But Putin on Thursday mounted a firm defence of the ban while
accusing the United States of “acting brazenly and arrogantly” towards
He said those who believed the law limited the opportunities of
orphans failed to see the threats to Russian society posed by a steady
outflow of children.
“There are lots of places in the world where living standards are
higher than they are here,” said Putin.
“And what -- are we going to send all our children there? Perhaps we
should move there ourselves?” And he raised the spectre of Russia going
to “ruin” if it continued to allow foreigners to take care of its young.
“It may seem like our resources are limitless. But this is not the
case,” Putin told the government’s most senior members in a televised
“We may reach a certain point at which -- once we overstep it -- we
will not be able to stop our ruin,” he warned.
“So we have to be extremely sensitive and attentive toward such