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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network More

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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs