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

Video Americans, Tourists, Reflect on Meaning of Thanksgiving

VOA garnered opinions from several people soon after November 13 Paris attacks, which colored many of their thoughts

Video Thais Send Security Concerns Down the River

In northern Thailand, the annual tradition of constructing floating baskets to carry away the year’s bad spirits highlights the Loy Krathong festival

Video Tree Houses - A Branch of American Dream

Workshops aimed at teaching people how to build tree houses have become widely popular in America in recent years

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syriai
November 26, 2015 5:21 AM
Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Islamic State Unfazed by Losses in Iraq, Syria

Progress in the U.S.-led effort to beat Islamic State on its home turf in Iraq and Syria has led some to speculate the terror group may be growing desperate. But counterterror officials say that is not the case, and warn the recent spate of terror attacks is merely part of the group’s evolution. VOA National Security correspondent Jeff Seldin has more.

Video Taiwan Looks for Role in South China Sea Dispute

The Taiwanese government is one of several that claims territory in the hotly contested South China Sea, but Taipei has long been sidelined in the dispute, overshadowed by China. Now, as the Philippines challenges Beijing’s claims in an international court at The Hague, Taipei is looking to publicly assert its claims. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.

Video Syrian Refugees in US Express Concern for Those Left Behind

Syrian immigrants in the United States are concerned about the negative tide of public opinion and the politicians who want to block a U.S. plan to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees. Zlatica Hoke reports many Americans are fighting to dispel suspicions linking refugees to terrorists.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs