Moscow denies obligation to pass orphans to US

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 11, 2013 18:20 hrs

Moscow, Jan 11 (IANS) Russian Friday said that the child adoption agreement between Moscow and Washington did not compel the former to transfer orphans to the US foster families, Xinhua reported.

"Despite some interpretations, that agreement does not contain any obligation of the Russian side to transfer children to the US foster parents," the foreign ministry's spokesperson, Alexander Lukashevich, said.

Russia unilaterally withdrew from the bilateral agreement two months after it came into force last November.

The adoption ban, signed by President Vladimir Putin, Dec 28, 2012, is a part of Russian response to the US Magnitsky Act, which imposes visa bans and asset freezes on Russian officials allegedly responsible for the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a Russian lawyer who died in 2009 in a Moscow jail after accusing officials of tax fraud.

On Jan 1, the Russian foreign ministry officially notified the US embassy in Moscow that Moscow was terminating the agreement. On Thursday, Russia said the adoption agreement remains valid for another year.

Forty-six Russian orphans have found themselves in legal limbo because the controversial law caught them in a process of adoption being half-way completed.

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