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Golodets’ letter on “anti-Magnitsky law” sent to Kremlin with PM’s consent

December 25, 2012, 23:43 UTC+3

The Federation Council will debate Russia’s legislative reply to the U.S. Magnitsky Act on December 26

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MOSCOW, December 25 (Itar-Tass) —— Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev personally sent Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets’ letter on legal discrepancies between the “anti- Magnitsky law” and international conventions to the presidential administration.

Medvedev said on Tuesday, December 25, “Golodets sent me such a letter and it contains a set of references to certain conventions and I asked for them to be studied by professional and sent to the presidential administration.”

Golodets said on Monday, December 24, that “there is a set of legal documents or rather recommendations [regarding the State Duma’s reply to the Magnitsky Act] and we should think about the legal component of this agreement,” the prime minister said.

However, presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov sais that the decision to ban the adoption of Russian children by Americans will not result in any breach of Russia’s international obligations.

“Some ministers have expressed the view which is not prevailing at the same time. Often certain ministers point out aspects that concern their jurisdiction,” Peskov told Ekho Moskvy Radio.

In his opinion, Deputy Prime Minister Olga Golodets and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov spoke of the need “to pay close attention to the fact that the decision being adopted with regard to the Russian-American agreement and with regard to the ban on adoption has not in any way affected the international obligations of the Russian Federation”.

“Our experts, lawyers and human rights activists have paid the closest attention to this and they do not share this concern and think that this will not lead to any violation of our international obligations. And by adopting such decisions the Russian Federation exercises the rights which it has been given by international law,” the spokesperson said.

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 last week.

“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 earlier.

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”.

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