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Federation Council to debate response to Magnitsky Act Dec 26

December 19, 2012, 19:07 UTC+3

The reply contains a ban on the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens

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MOSCOW, December 19 (Itar-Tass) —— The Federation Council will debate Russia’s legislative reply to the U.S. Magnitsky Act on December 26.

The reply contains a ban on the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens.

The State Duma passed the legislation in a second reading on Wednesday, December 19, and plans to adopt it in the final, third, reading on December 21, after which it will go to the Federation Council.

“The law will be included in the agenda [of the Federation Council’s plenary session] on December 26,” Federation Council First Deputy Speaker Alexander Torshin told Itar-Tass.

He stressed that the Federation Council “was watching the discussion in the State Duma very closely” and noted that the law was supported by the overwhelming majority of MPs.

“My personal position is that I will support it [the law]. Judging from conversations with my colleagues, I think the Federation Council will approve it,” Torshin said.

Speaking about the controversial ban on the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, he appeared to be surprised by the “painful reaction to this issue by the Internet community, among others”.

“Everything [in their criticism] boils down to an assertion that only the U.S and no one else can solve the problem of our orphans. This is not true. We have resources,” Torshin said.

He believes it necessary to think about legislative amendments on adoption that would particularly simplify the adoption procedures inside the country “as those who decide to adopt face numerous bureaucratic hurdles”.

Torshin also stressed that need for greater support to adoptive families.

He also called for developing the system of family children’s homes and considering relocating some facilities for orphans from regions with a harsh climate to warmer parts of the country. “The state can do that,” he added.

The senator also thinks that regions should be given more power in handling these issues and more funding along with powers.

“All these questions have to be solved faster so as to avoid such discussions in the future,” Torshin said

“This is a comprehensive problem and it can’t be solved with a wave of a wand. And no one, even Uncle am, can solve it for us,” Torshin said.

The amendment was initiated by United Russia and the Liberal Democratic Party for a second reading of the draft Law “On Measures against Persons Involved in the Violation of Russian Citizens’ Rights”, which was worked out a Russia’s response to the Magnitsky Act adopted by the U.S. Congress.

One of the authors of the amendment, Yekaterina Lakhova, said it bans direct adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens and denies the licence to adoption agencies that choose Russian children for adoptive parents in the United States.

In addition, the amendment also disavows the Russian-American adoption agreement. “We want to introduce this proposal as a separate line item in the law,” Lakhova.

The Duma will discuss the response to the Magnitsky Act in a second reading on December 19.

The Federation Council said earlier it would approve a Russian legislative response to the Magnitsky Act after it has been passed by the State Duma.

The Federation Council intends to do so before the end of the year.

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