WASHINGTON, February 19 - RAPSI. The US State Department will assist the Russian Embassy and consulate officials in making contact with the appropriate authorities in Texas, in connection with the death of Maxim Kuzmin, aged 3, State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland said.

Earlier, Russian Children's Rights Commissioner Pavel Astakhov wrote an entry in his blog claiming that a Texan woman killed her adopted Russian child.

"In the state of Texas, a mother killed her three-year-old adopted Russian son. The murder occurred in late January. The Russian Embassy learned about this, despite the lack of any information from the US State Department. The boy died before the arrival of the ambulance his mother had called for him. Pathologists have concluded that the boy had numerous injuries," Astakhov wrote in his blog.

Astakhov further claims that the adoptive mother gave the boy strong psychotropic medication before beating him to death.

Russian investigators have opened a criminal case under the "Murder" article of the Criminal Code, and will apply for a warrant for her arrest, which will take effect if she enters Russia, according to Russian federal investigators.

They plan to seek an Interpol order for her arrest as well.

The Russian authorities have said that the Texan prosecutors expressed readiness to cooperate in investigating the death.

A US State Department official has confirmed that the Texan authorities are investigating the incident.
The Russian Foreign Ministry hopes that the adoptive US mother will be punished severely, if found guilty of Maxim's death.

A number of high-profile cases of abuse and death of adopted Russian children in adoptive US homes have strained US-Russian diplomatic ties over recent years.

In response to the growing number of these incidents, Russia recently enacted the Dima Yakovlev Law, named after a two-year-old Russian boy who died of heatstroke after his adoptive US father left him locked in a car for hours on a hot summer day in 2008.

His father was later acquitted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, inciting a wave of criticism in Russia.

Around 60,000 Russian children have been adopted by American families over the past two decades, of which 19 have died at the hands of their parents.