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Russia Demands US Agreement to Protect Adopted Children

Moscow bans US adoptions of Russian children after American mother returns adoptive son to Russia

The Kremlin says it will not permit further adoptions of Russian children by U.S. parents until Washington signs a pledge guaranteeing the security of the adoptees in the United States.

Russia's Foreign Ministry said Monday the ban could last for weeks.

Moscow was outraged earlier this month when an American mother placed her 7-year-old adopted Russian son on a flight back to Moscow by himself. In a note attached to the boy's belongings, she said he was violent and mentally unstable.

Moscow says it wants the United States to agree to prevent a repeat of such cases. The Foreign Ministry said Washington has not shown interest in reaching an agreement.

On Monday, U.S. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said Washington has not received formal Russian notification of suspension in all U.S. adoptions. He says some adoptions of Russian children are continuing, while others have been put on hold.

Crowley says the State Department plans to send a delegation to the Russian capital next week to discuss the adoption dispute. The U.S. delegation originally was due to arrive in Moscow Monday, but its flight was canceled due to the air traffic ban in most of Europe. An estimated 1,586 Russian children were adopted by Americans last year.

Artyom Savelyev celebrated his eighth birthday Friday at a Moscow hospital, where he has been staying since his return from the United States.

Experts say some children adopted from eastern Europe suffer sometimes severe physical, behavioral and cognitive problems resulting from heavy alcohol consumption by their mothers during pregnancy. It is not clear if the boy sent back to Russia this month was plagued by the disorders.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.