A Russian-U.S. intergovernmental adoption agreement is unlikely to be signed before the end of the year, children's ombudsman Pavel Astakhov said on Thursday.
"There must be no illusions; we will physically not make it before the end of this year," he said, adding that no date for the beginning of next year had been set.
The U.S. side is "very anxious" to sign a treaty as soon as possible, Astakhov said. "This means it [deal] is likely to pull through."
The ombudsman said on Friday that Russia and the United States had to tie up some loose ends to complete long-running talks on the issue.
Astakhov said earlier he might push for a freeze on adoptions of Russian children by U.S. citizens if the two countries failed to seal the agreement by early 2011.
Russia is one of the largest sources of adoptions for U.S. families, accounting for about 10 percent of foreign adoptions. The mistreatment of Russian children adopted in the United States has attracted public attention in recent months as a result of a number of highly publicized incidents.
In April, a 7-year-old boy was placed alone on a one-way flight to Moscow by his U.S. adoptive mother with a note claiming he was "psychopathic."
VOLGOGRAD, December 9 (RIA Novosti)