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Kremlin: Adoptions Pact Still Valid

The Kremlin says an agreement regulating adoptions between Russia and the United States remains valid until 2014.

The statement comes after Russian lawmakers recently passed a ban on U.S. adoptions and after Russian officials said the restriction would take effect immediately.

President Vladimir Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Russian media that a clause in the existing agreement requires that it remain valid for a year after one of the parties terminates it.

Russia terminated it on January 1 after lawmakers approved the U.S. adoptions ban.

Peskov didn't specify whether the agreement's continued validity would in practice allow more adoptions to go ahead.

Children's Rights Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov had said previously that all adoptions were immediately halted.

The confusion has left in limbo nearly 1,000 U.S. families in the process of adopting Russian children.

Based on reporting from AP and RIA Novosti