Russia's Putin signals he will sign U.S. adoption ban

Thu Dec 27, 2012 2:40pm EST
 
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By Alexei Anishchuk

MOSCOW (Reuters) - President Vladimir Putin signaled on Thursday he would sign into law a bill barring Americans from adopting Russian children and sought to forestall criticism of the move by promising measures to better care for his country's orphans.

In televised comments, Putin tried to appeal to people's patriotism by suggesting that strong and responsible countries should take care of their own and lent his support to a bill that has further strained U.S.-Russia relations.

"There are probably many places in the world where living standards are higher than ours. So what, are we going to send all our children there? Maybe we should move there ourselves?" he said, with sarcasm.

Parliament gave its final approval on Wednesday to the bill, which would also introduce other measures in retaliation for new U.S. legislation which is designed to punish Russians accused of human rights violations.

For it to become law Putin needs to sign it.

"So far I see no reason not to sign it, although I have to review the final text and weigh everything," Putin said at a meeting of federal and regional officials that was shown live on the state's 24-hour news channel.

"I intend to sign not only the law ... but also a presidential decree that will modify the support mechanisms for orphaned children ... especially those who are in a difficult situation, by that I mean in poor health," Putin said.

Critics of the bill say the Russian authorities are playing political games with the lives of children, while the U.S. State Department repeated its "deep concern" over the measure.   Continued...

 
Russian President Vladimir Putin (C), Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev (L) and speaker of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko attend a session of the State Council at the Kremlin in Moscow December 27, 2012. REUTERS/Natalia Kolesnikova/Pool