News / Europe

US Ambassador Criticizes Russian Adoption Law

A woman opposing a bill that would ban adoptions of Russian children by Americans holds a sign reading 'Give the children a chance to live' during a picket at the entrance of the State Duma, in Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2012.
A woman opposing a bill that would ban adoptions of Russian children by Americans holds a sign reading 'Give the children a chance to live' during a picket at the entrance of the State Duma, in Moscow, Russia, December 21, 2012.
VOA News
The U.S. Ambassador to Russia has criticized a new bill that would ban adoptions of Russian children by Americans.

Ambassador Michael McFaul said Friday he is concerned about a measure that would link the welfare of children to unrelated issues.

Russia's State Duma, or lower house of parliament, passed the bill Friday in its third and final reading by a vote of 420-7.  It now goes to the upper house of parliament for approval.  The bill is seen as retaliation for a U.S. law that imposes sanctions on Russian officials suspected of human rights violations.

Moscow Human Rights Watch Deputy Director Rachel Denber told a reporter Friday it is "not surprising" that there is political retribution for the U.S. law, known as the Magnitsky Act.  But she said it is "shocking" that Russian lawmakers are putting the well-being of children at risk.  She said the law would limit the options for children in Russian orphanages.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has said the State Duma's move is an "emotional" response to the new U.S. law.  He said he would consider signing the bill only after seeing the final text.

Some analysts expect Putin to make changes to the bill before signing it into law.

The Russian bill is named after Dima Yakovlev, a Russian boy who died in 2008 after his adoptive family left him locked in a car for several hours on a hot day.

The new U.S. law is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in prison in 2009 after exposing an official corruption ring involved in the embezzlement of $250 million in tax money.  The legislation is designed to target Russian officials involved in Magnitsky's detention, abuse or death.

The Magnitsky Act was approved as part of legislation that lifted trade restrictions on Russia dating back to the Cold War era.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

Ali Regained Title in Historic Fight 40 Years Ago

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid