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Prokhorov Pledges $50,000 for Adopting Children Affected by US Ban

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Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said on Friday his Civic Platform party would pay $50,000 to Russian families that adopt one of the 46 children whose pending adoption by US parents might be affected by a ban approved by the State Duma.

MOSCOW, December 21 (RIA Novosti) - Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov said on Friday his Civic Platform party would pay $50,000 to Russian families that adopt one of the 46 children whose pending adoption by US parents might be affected by a ban approved by the State Duma.

The Russian State Duma approved in the third reading on Friday a bill prohibiting the adoption of Russian children by Americans. It will become law if approved by the Federation Council and signed by the president.

“We are ready to allocate $50,000 to each family that adopts one of those children,” Prokhorov told journalists.

The decision was approved by the party’s federal political committee earlier in the day.

The legislation was initially called a reaction to the recently passed US Magnitsky Act that imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of rights abuses.

Putin confirmed at his news conference on Thursday that the bill was also motivated by cases in which the abuse of Russian adoptees in America had been ignored.

Since 1999, parents in the United States have adopted more than 45,000 Russian children, according to the US State Department. Russian officials claim at least 19 Russian children adopted by Americans have died in that period.