MOSCOW, December 24 (RIA Novosti) Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has called on Russian lawmakers not to cancel the US-Russia adoption agreement, even if American adoptions are most likely to be banned soon.
“So while I understand the position of those in favor of prohibiting the adoption of Russian kids by American families, I still believe that we have to try to keep the agreement,” Lavrov told RT in an interview released on Monday.
Lavrov said the bilateral agreement aimed at improving oversight and helping prevent adopted children being abused, as it enables Russian officials to visit the children in their American adoptive families.
As it stands, the proposed amendment would cancel this agreement. But the president can issue an instruction for it to be kept in force.
The adoption ban is the most controversial aspect of the bill proposed by Russian lawmakers following the recently passed US Magnitsky Act that imposes sanctions on Russian officials accused of rights abuses.
The bill, passed in three readings by the State Duma, is scheduled for review next Wednesday by the upper chamber Federation Council, and if approved would then go to Russian President Vladimir Putin to either be vetoed or signed into law.
Lavrov had earlier criticized the proposed ban as "wrong."
US State Department figures show that more than 60,000 children have been adopted from Russia by American parents since the early 1990s. Nineteen adopted Russian children have died in the care of their American parents over this time.