The upper house of Russia’s parliament has unanimously approved a measure banning Americans from adopting Russian children.
All 143 members of the Federation Council present voted Wednesday to support the bill, which now goes to President Vladimir Putin for his signature.
The legislation bans adoption of Russian children by U.S. families, ends bilateral adoption agreements between the two countries and forbids U.S. adoption agencies from working in Russia.
It is seen as retaliation for a recently passed U.S. law, the Magnitsky Act, which imposes a visa ban and financial sanctions on Russian officials accused of violating human rights.
The head of the United Nations Children’s Fund, Anthony Lake, is appealing to the Russian government to let only the best interests of children determine its actions.
The U.S. bill is named after Sergei Magnitsky, a 37-year-old Russian anti-corruption lawyer who died in jail in 2009 after exposing what he called a criminal ring of officials who stole $250 million in tax money. The legislation is designed to target Russian officials involved in Magnitsky’s detention, abuse or death.
(Russian State Duma photo by AaverageJoe/flickr.com)