News / Europe

    Putin Backs Proposed Ban on US Adoptions

    Cadets watch Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference on television, Rostov-on-Don, Dec. 20, 2012.
    Cadets watch Russian President Vladimir Putin's annual news conference on television, Rostov-on-Don, Dec. 20, 2012.
    Russian President Vladimir Putin touched on many topics in his end-of-year address, including U.S.-Russian relations, the conflict in Syria and his health. One topic, however, seemed to garner particular attention from the Russian leader - a law passed by Washington that punishes Russians who abuse human rights. 
     
    In his speech, Putin expressed anger over the U.S. Congress' recent passage of the so-called Magnitsky Act. The legislation requires Washington to freeze the assets of and bar entry to anyone who was allegedly involved in the 2009 death of Russian anti-corruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky.
     
    Magnitsky worked for Russia’s largest Western investment fund and claimed to have uncovered a scheme used by Russian officials to embezzle more than $230 million in taxes paid by that firm. He was later arrested by the same officials he had accused of the tax fraud. He died in prison awaiting trial on corruption charges.
     
    Putin says the Magnitsky Act is not good for U.S.-Russia relations.
     
    He says the bill is unfriendly towards Russia and that Washington is trying to remain in the past. He goes on to say that the measure is "very bad" and is poisoning relations between Russia and the United States.
     
    The Kremlin has responded in kind to the Magnitsky Act. The State Duma, the country’s lower house of parliament, has overwhelmingly passed an adoption amendment that would bar Americans from adopting Russian children.
     
    Putin says the measure was an adequate response because America is not taking care of the children it adopts from Russia.
     
    He says that when crimes are committed against adopted Russian children, America’s judiciary most often does not react to this at all and does not bring criminal charges against people who clearly committed a crime against a child.
     
    The adoption amendment must pass a third reading in the Duma and clear the upper house before it goes to Putin for his signature and becomes law.
     
    Meanwhile, also in response to the Magnitsky Act, Russia has given initial approval to a law that would penalize Americans accused of violating the human rights of Russian citizens abroad. Those blacklisted would be banned from entering Russia and would be subject to asset freezes.
     
    In his speech, Putin also addressed the civil war in Syria, saying that any solution to the conflict there must ensure that President Bashar al-Assad’s government and the Syrian opposition do not simply swap positions and the fighting continues without end. 
     
    For the first time, the president appeared to acknowledge a future Syrian government without Assad.  Russia has been a long-time ally of Syria and a major arms seller to the country. Moscow continues to maintain a naval base there.
     
    The Kremlin has also refused to back three rounds of sanctions against the Assad government, saying dialogue with both sides is necessary for peace. Putin has also consistently maintained that it is not the job of the United Nations Security Council to promote regime change.
     
    The Russian leader also addressed press reports that his back has been hurting him, saying he is in perfect health.

    You May Like

    US Leaders Who Served in Vietnam War Look Back and Ahead

    In New York Times opinion piece, Secretary of State John Kerry, Senator John McCain and former Senator Bob Kerrey say as US strengthens relations with Vietnam, it is important to remember lessons learned from war

    Who Are US Allies in Fight Against Islamic State?

    There is little but opportunism keeping coalition together analysts warn — SDFs Arab militias are not united even among themselves, frequently squabble and don’t share Kurds' vision for post-Assad Syria

    Learning Foreign Language Helps US Soldiers Bridge Culture Gap

    Effective interaction with local populations part of everyday curriculum at Monterey, California, Defense Language Institute

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Anonymous
    December 20, 2012 7:39 PM
    Hahaha, too funny. All Putin has done is gotten himself in deeper. It's kind of like stepping in doo doo, you have to get it off your shoe afterwards... Putin is totally choked about the American government wanting human rights in Russia. So choked he does something so childlike by taking away Russian adoption. He is acting like a 4 year old and all he has done is gotten himself in deeper. American requests for Human Rights in Russia was warranted, and appropriate. What Putin has done however isn't going matter much anyways. Putin should learn a little bit about practising human rights. It's unfortunate those kids whom can't be adopted will be stuck living in Russia with a corrupt, ruthless, government. Now for Putins turn to get slapped in the face harder by the US on their next decisions. Hopefully countries around the world will follow suit with the US and push Russia into a free place with or without Putin.

    by: Stephen Sadd from: Australia
    December 20, 2012 2:25 PM
    It's about time the US got some of it's own medicine, it would be really cool to see both Russia and China take this further, and fund terrorist squads to invade America and shoot and bomb everyone and everything, with maximum concentration around Washington DC. I would support this, being an Aussie!

    by: Kevin from: Atlanta, GA
    December 20, 2012 1:43 PM
    "He says that when crimes are committed against adopted Russian children, America’s judiciary most often does not react to this at all and does not bring criminal charges against people who clearly committed a crime against a child."

    Where is there any evidence of this?

    by: Hank walden from: Orinda, ca
    December 20, 2012 1:34 PM
    That is good news for potential adopters. We have experience and have spoken to adopting parents and followed the news. Working in Russian orphanages is a high paying prestigious job and faced with American adopting parents they will offer children that are ill, problematic and often suffering from fetal alchoholic syndrome and will require special attention and medical care. Having children examined by a Russian doctor will not help one get honest medical evaluation. Thank you Putin and adopt American,or in other countries where you deal with a honest system. Do your research talk to other parents about their experience with other countries. Good luck.
    In Response

    by: Bill from: Nashville
    December 21, 2012 7:41 AM
    Where did you ever get the crazy idea that working in a Russian orphanage is a well-paid, prestigious job?!! It is not. I have lived in Russia and I visited several orphanages. They are depressing, dingy resource-starved places held together by local women volunteers helping heroic female doctors working for $300 a month. Russian people don't adopt their orphan children. During Soviet times orphans were the responsibility of the State and that is still the public mindset. Putin doesn't care about the children. He is happy to use them as pawns in his geo-political game.

    by: a horse from: us
    December 20, 2012 1:22 PM
    It is really not US's interest if Russia wants to continue to practice corruption. Actually the more corrupted Russia is, it would be less of a threat to the US in the future. Hence I am mystified by the side of the bread that is buttered

    by: AK from: Canada
    December 20, 2012 1:15 PM
    Good. Poverty, foster care, hardship, it is not bad and maybe will even strengthen the character of kids. NOTHING is worse for children then being infected with American disease. That country is literally hell on earth, no mater how much money they have they are miserable. The only place people are happy in the USA is in rural areas, the other 95% are miserable slugs despite 21% of the population being on happy pills. It is a death trap, full of negroids and everything else undesirable, it is totally destroyed at a genetic level.

    by: Bert from: Los Angeles
    December 20, 2012 1:13 PM
    Yeah! Let them drown in their own overpopulation. We got more than enough bad seed already going around over here.
    In Response

    by: Anonymous
    December 21, 2012 11:15 PM
    Let them drown in their own overpopulation?

    Russia's population is declining.

    by: Random Numbers from: USA
    December 20, 2012 1:06 PM
    Wait, I'll blacklist myself! Problem solved Vladichka!


    by: Anonymous
    December 20, 2012 1:03 PM
    How...bizarre.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora