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Lavrov Defends Russian Ban On U.S. Adoptions

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (file photo)
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has defended recently adopted legislation that bars U.S. citizens from adopting Russian children.

In an interview aired in the Russian Far East, Lavrov said the law was a response to "numerous" reports of Russian adoptees being killed or abused.

"The United States is the only country from which we receive genuinely alarming reports about how many families treat our children," Lavrov said. "And I use the word 'many' intentionally."

READ: Grown Adoptee Offers Mountain Of Proof Against Adoption Ban

He said the number of cases of abuse is much greater than believed because adoptive parents change their children's Russian names, making it impossible for Moscow to track them.

He also said Russia "had to" pass the adoption ban in response to a U.S. law imposing sanctions on Russian officials tied to human rights abuses, a measure known as the Magnitsky Act after a whistle-blowing lawyer named Sergei Magnitsky who died in pretrial custody in a Moscow jail in 2009.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS and Interfax