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Putin says will sign anti-US adoption bill

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Russian President Vladimir Putin speaks at the Kremlin, in Moscow, after he told top officials in the Kremlin that he intends to sign into law a bill banning Americans from adopting Russian children, December 27, 2012.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says he intends to sign into law a bill that bans Americans from adopting Russian children.

“I do not yet see any reason why I should not sign it,” Putin said in the Kremlin on Thursday, after receiving the “Dima Yakovlev” bill that parliament’s upper house had recently approved.

“I intend not only to sign the law… but also a presidential decree on changing the way orphans are supported,” Putin added.

The text of the draft legislation “arrived at the administration this morning”, Kremlin administration chief Sergei Ivanov said on Thursday. “It is being studied,” he added. Putin has two weeks to decide whether to sign the bill into law.

The decree aims to improve the child welfare system for some 740,000 children without parental custody.

Putin said the US has been “acting brazenly and arrogantly” by denying Russian officials access to adopted children who had suffered under the hands of their US adoptive families.

The measure has mounted tensions between Moscow and Washington and comes in retaliation to an anti-Russian human rights act, known as the Magnitsky Act.

On December 26, the Russian Federation Council voted unanimously in favor of the “Dima Yakovlev” bill after the State Duma overwhelmingly approved the legislation a week before.

The name of the draft law comes in remembrance of Dima Yakovlev, an 18-month-old Russian boy who died after his American adoptive father locked the toddler in a car on a hot summer day. The father’s acquittal sparked fury in Russia.


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