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United Russia criticizes minister for position on "anti-Magnitsky bill"

December 18, 2012, 16:17 UTC+3
Russia may resolve this problem without other countries' assistance
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MOSCOW, December 18 (Itar-Tass) — Lawmakers from the United Russia faction at the State Duma lower house of the Russian parliament criticized Minister of Education and Science Dmitry Livanov for his negative opinion of the proposed ban on adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens. The statement was read by deputy chairwoman of the house committee for family, women and children Olga Batalina.

"By his indignation over the possible cancellation of adoption in the United States, Minister Dmitry Livanov has shown that the department he heads is incapable and acknowledged his own incompetence," according to United Russia’s official website.

Batalina reminded that "it is this body that is responsible for working out and implementing the state policy in education, guardianship and trusteeship with respect to orphans. The weakness of this policy resulted in Russia’s still having to allow foreigners to adopt its orphaned children, she said.

Russia may resolve this problem without other countries' assistance "To this end, it needs to overhaul the system of support for adoptive families, by introducing a special procedure to provide housing, giving them priority in the allocation of quotas for high-tech medical assistance, rehabilitation of children, providing places at kindergartens and considering the possibility to introduce tax incentives.

The minister should remember his direct duties, Batalina said.

In the opinion of member of the presidential council for developing the civil society and human rights Yana Lantratova, the ban on adoption of Russian children in the USA is too biased.

"It's not about limiting the children's right to normal life, it's about our being unable to control the fate of our children there," she told Tass, reminding that according to official figures, 19 Russian children had died in adoptive U.S. families and many cases of humiliation had been reported.

According to Lantratova, "we don't know all statistics."

She acknowledged that Russia has "an acute problem of violations of children's rights." However, Russia has "a well-functioning system of penalties, whereas in the United States, people guilty of death or use of violence on adoptive children, have been cleared by courts."

She is confident that "Russian children should have normal life here /in Russia/." "We have to eliminate shortcomings in Russia, not to give /them/ away /to that country/ because things are allegedly better there, she underlined.

The Ministry of Education and Science that supervises this area, must "strengthen guardianship bodies, or launch a separate adoption project."

"We have to handle the adoption system, so that the Russians wishing to adopt a child, have no difficulties," she said.

"An eye for eye logic is wrong, as it may hurt our children who've found no adoptive parents in Russia," Livanov earlier wrote in his micro-blog.

On Monday, the State Duma committee for constitutional legislation and state development supported the amendment to ban the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens and support the denunciation of the Russian-U.S. child adoption agreement.

The amendments were brought forward by United Russia deputies and their colleagues from the Liberal Democratic Party by the 2nd reading of the law on measures of influence on persons involved in violation of Russian citizens' rights, which is Moscow's answer to the Magnitsky Act approved by the U.S. Congress.

Yekaterina Lakhova, one of the authors of the amendment, earlier told Tass that aside from direct adoption of Russian children by U.S families, there is also a ban on the operation of the agencies that select children from Russia for adoptive parents from the USA.

The amendment envisions the denunciation of the Russian-U.S. child adoption agreement. "We wish it to be a separate provision in the bill," Lakhova explained.

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