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Russia's Federation Council Approves Adoption Ban

Russia's upper chamber of parliament, the Federation Council, has unanimously approved a controversial ban on U.S. citizens adopting Russian children.

It now goes to President Vladimir Putin to sign or turn down.

The legislation is part of a bill proposed by Russian lawmakers to retaliate against a recently signed U.S. human rights law known as the Magnitsky Act.

That U.S. law calls for sanctions against Russians linked to the 2009 prison death of anticorruption lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, or to other human rights abuses.

Critics of Russia's ban on adoptions by U.S. citizens say it victimizes orphans by depriving them of an opportunity to escape often-dismal Russian orphanages.

Several demonstrators were detained earlier on December 26 while protesting against the adoption ban outside the Federation Council in Moscow.

The U.S. State Department told RFE/RL it "regrets" the Russian move, calling it "misguided to link the fate of children to unrelated political considerations."

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called on Moscow to "let the best interests of children -- and only their best interests -- determine its actions."
Based on reporting by Reuters, AP, and Interfax

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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