The lower house of Russia's Parliament approved a bill Friday that would prohibit the adoption of Russian children by U.S. families and the entry into the country of U.S. citizens suspected of human rights violations.
The legislation is widely seen as retaliation for a U.S. law known as the Magnitsky Act, which President Barack Obama signed a week ago, that bars Russian officials facing human rights charges from entering the United States.
The Russian bill, which was passed by a vote of 420-7 with one abstention and will now go to the Federation Council, suspends a bilateral adoptions accord that Russia ratified in July.
The legislation also prohibits the entry into Russia of U.S. citizens who are suspected of crimes against Russian citizens abroad or of issuing unjust sentences against Russian citizens, according to the Interfax news agency.
It gives Russia the right to freeze the assets of U.S. citizens included on that list and prohibits them from carrying out property transactions or making investments in Russia.
The Magnitsky Act, included in a bill that normalizes trade ties with Russia, contains a clause instructing the Obama administration to publish the names of people allegedly implicated in the death in a detention center of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who had made serious tax fraud allegations against Russian interior ministry officials.
It also requires U.S. authorities to deny visas and freeze the assets of any individual on that blacklist or other people involved in future human rights abuses.
Russia, one of the main source countries for international adoptions to the United States, is home to an estimated 1 million orphans and abandoned children. EFE