WASHINGTON, December 23 - RAPSI. In two hours, almost 6,000 people signed a petition to make Russian lawmakers, who voted in favor of the US adoptions ban, accountable under the Magnitsky Act.

At 23:00 Moscow time on Saturday [19:00 GMT] the online petition, urging the US government “to identify those involved in adopting such legislature responsible under "Magnitsky Act" and thus included to the relevant list,” gathered less than 400 votes. By 1:00 a.m. Moscow time on Sunday [21:00 Saturday GMT], it was signed by more than 6,300 people.

The petition, posted on the White House website, needs 25,000 signatures by January 20 to be considered by the U.S. administration.

The petition says lawmakers of the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, the State Duma, who approved the ban in the third and final reading on Friday, have “breached all imaginable boundaries of humanity, responsibility, or common sense and chose to jeopardize lives and well-being of thousands of Russian orphans.”

A total of 420 lawmakers voted in favor of the bill, written as a retaliatory response to the US Magnitsky Act, which imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of human rights violations. The Russian bill is nearly identical. It imposes sanctions on Americans accused of human rights violations, but it also imposes a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.

Seven lawmakers voted against, with one abstention.

To become a law, the adoption bill still needs to be approved by the upper house, the Federation Council, and signed by the president.