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All Duma factions support appeal to US Congress to protect children

February 22, 2013, 13:45 UTC+3

The lower house of the parliament will vote on the document after 17:00 Moscow time

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MOSCOW, February 22 (Itar-Tass) - All the factions in the State Duma on Friday supported the appeal to the U.S. Congress, demanding to urgently take proper measures to ensure safety of adopted Russian children and prevent violations of their rights in the United States.

The lower house of the parliament will vote on the document after 17:00 Moscow time.

Duma members in the statement express deep concern over the cases, the number of which continues to rise, of violent death of Russian children adopted by American citizens and living in the United States.

Legislators remember the recent tragedy, one more, -- the death of three-year-old Maxim Kuzmin, who was adopted by Americans together with his younger brother Kirill.

Despite the fact that the Russian-American agreement on cooperation for adoption is not in force any longer, under Point Five of Article 17 of the document, the American party cannot be relieved of the duties to obey its provisions and the generally accepted principles and the international laws.

However, the U.S. Department of State did not inform the Russian side in time about the death of Maxim Kuzmin. The Russian side got to know about the tragic incident from other sources. Besides, no measures were taken to immediately remove Kirill Kuzmin from the dangerous environment after the violent death of his elder brother, the legislators noted.

In this connection, they believe it is necessary to return Kirill to Russia to "save his life and heath". The State Duma intends to urge the United States to assist Russia to settle it to return him to Russia.

Washington is expected to immediately take comprehensive measures to ensure safety of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens and prevent violations of the children’s rights, including preventing cruel treatment of the children and ensuring parliamentary control over the measures.

The deputies insist on tightening of the U.S. requirements for the adoption procedure and the selection of candidates to become foster parents in case Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens are transferred to another American family.

The parliament members say it is necessary to ensure that the Department of State will immediately inform the Russian Foreign Ministry about all the facts of cruel treatment of Russian children adopted by U.S. citizens.

Full information must be provided in a short period about the living conditions of Russian children in American families, the Duma members said in the draft statement.

The State Duma also intends to urge Washington to take activities of specialized organizations for adopted children, such as "Ranches for Children", under special control to prevent infringement of the rights of Russian children there.

State Duma Vice-Speaker and head of the working group for development of the institution of adoption in Russia Sergei Neverov told reporters on Friday "We realize well that the process of return of Kirill to Russia will be uneasy. "However, it is our position of principle. We believe it is not safe for the boy to remain in the American adoptive parents' family where his brother died," he added.

The fears are confirmed by the largest response of official American representatives to what happened. "Again, as in the previous cases of death of our children, the position that the adoptive parents are not guilty of Maxim's death is imposed on the public opinion, and it happens before the conclusion of forensic medicine experts is received." "What the American court ruling will be can be predicted," the politician said.

"What happens confirms that we were right to take the decision to ban adoption of Russian children to the country. Its authorities as before do not give an adequate assessment to actions of adoptive parents. It means that nobody guarantees safety of our children."

Neverov believes the only possibility to save Kirill and ensure protection of other Russian children is to draw attention of the American public to the problem.

So, the appeal of the State Duma is actually addressed not only to the Congress, representatives of which continue to prefer to keep silent in connection with what happened. It is an address to all citizens of the United States, who are not indifferent to the fate of children irrespective of their citizenship," the legislator concluded.

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