MOSCOW, December 24 – RAPSI. By terminating the adoption agreement with the United States, Russia will lose access to its children who have already been adopted, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in an interview to the Russia Today TV channel.
Last week, the State Duma adopted the Dima Yakovlev Act in the third reading, a bill that takes aim at the US by imposing a series of dramatic sanctions. The lower house has approved the amendment on banning the adoption of Russian children by U.S. citizens, closing adoption agencies offering these services and terminating the Russian-U.S. agreement on child adoption.
Lavrov referred to the case of Maxim Babayev, whose adoptive parents were arrested in Brevard, Florida, in 2012, on suspicion of child abuse. The court later decided to close the case. Maxim was transferred to temporary adoptive parents, but Russian consular employees were not allowed to visit him.
“The court ruled to deny Russian representatives access to Maxim Babayev. However, the Department of State is now at work with Florida authorities and with the court, explaining that granting access to the child is part of the United States’ international commitments,” Lavrov said.
The bill adopted by the State Duma also bans non-commercial political organizations from operating in Russia if they receive financial support from the United States, as well as any non-profit organization whose activities are considered to pose a threat to Russian interests.
Russia's bill also includes measures against U.S. citizens who are believed to have violated the rights of Russians, committed crimes against them, or were involved in crimes of this kind. It also envisages the drafting of a list of U.S. citizens who will be prohibited from entering Russia, and suspends the activity of any legal entities controlled by them in the country.
During the second reading, an amendment was approved which extends the scope of the bill's action to citizens of all countries, rather than just the United States. The amendment proposes that the law will affect citizens of those states which have decided to prohibit Russians from entering their country and which have arrested the assets of Russian citizens because they are thought to have been involved in human rights violations.
The "Dima Yakovlev Law" is Russia's response to the recent Magnitsky Law, adopted in the United States on December 6, which imposes visa sanctions on Russians involved in human rights violations.